With Monday marking the beginning of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Missouri, the City of Harrisonville and Harrisonville Emergency Services wants to remind you about the City’s severe-weather protocols.
Storm sirens in town are sounded when a Tornado Warning has been issued that affects Harrisonville. The decision to issue a tornado warning is made by a series of trained storm spotters from Harrisonville EMS who are spread throughout Harrisonville, and the surrounding area, during a Tornado Watch. Remember, storm sirens are only intended to be an alert system for those who are outside and are not intended to be a warning for those inside a building.
Whenever the Harrisonville Emergency Services spotters have been deployed, three churches have agreed to open their doors for anyone who does not have a safe shelter from severe weather. Those churches are: First Baptist Church of Harrisonville, located at 504 W Wall Street, Our Lady of Lourdes – Harrisonville, located at 2700 E Mechanic Street, and Antioch Southern Baptist Church, located at 2601 E Mechanic Street. Shelter guests will be allowed to bring their pets with them, but all animals must be kept in a crate or a cage. Crates/cages will not be provided by the shelter. Again, these shelters will only open their doors when storm spotters from Harrisonville Emergency Services have been deployed. An announcement will be made on the City’s social media pages when the shelters have been opened.
It is important to remember that the shelter being provided by these facilities during severe weather is only intended to be for a limited time. In the event a tornado occurs, and long-term shelter is needed, the American Red Cross and other agencies will determine where post-event shelters will be located.
We encourage all residents to avoid traveling during a tornado warning. Only move to the churches for shelter if you know you have enough time to make it there safely. If the warning is already here and on top of the City, shelter in place. This means going into a basement, or for structures without a basement, going into the most interior room, as close to ground level as possible.
These shelters are not being operated by the City. They are overseen by the churches and are for those who do not have a safe place to go during severe weather.
For more information about storm shelters in Harrisonville, please click here.
EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM
The Cass County Emergency Notification System is a free service provided by the Cass County Emergency Services Board, through Everbridge. The service alerts citizens of severe weather events, environmental or man-made disasters, search and rescue operations and major crime incidents in their immediate area. Citizens will be notified of such emergencies via a recorded message on their landline, wireless phone, text message or emails. The emergency messages will only be sent by an authorized 9-1-1 Dispatcher. The weather warnings are generated by the National Weather Service, through the Everbridge system, from the number 816-253-8966. Officials recommend all citizens enroll individually to ensure notifications are received on each device correctly. For example, a family of four will create four accounts, one for each member that wants to receive notifications. Do not use the same telephone number or email address on multiple accounts. If you list all family members contact information on the same account, once the first message is received the system will stop making notifications and the rest of the numbers listed in the account will not be notified. To sign up for emergency alerts from the Cass County Emergency Notification System, visit https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085613061#/signup
SHELTER IN PLACE
If a tornado warning is issued and time does not permit residents to travel to public shelters, the best protection during a tornado is to quickly go to the lowest level in the building. The following protective actions should be relayed to the public:
Bring your family and pets inside.
Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
During a tornado, the safest place to be is in the basement under something sturdy.
If there is no basement, seek shelter in a small interior room in the middle of the building, such as a closet or bathroom.
Stay away from outside doors and windows.
Remain in shelter until the all clear is given from authorities.