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Posted on: February 10, 2020

UPDATE: New severe-weather shelter available in Harrisonville

Storm-shelter sign

The City of Harrisonville and Harrisonville Fire Department urge you to be prepared for the many types of disasters possible here in the heartland.

Taking appropriate shelter is critical in times of disaster. And being aware of the resources available to you could save your life.

We want to let you know that we have made a change to our public severe-weather shelter plan. From now on, the Harrisonville branch of the Cass County Public Library (400 E Mechanic Street) will serve as the only public shelter that will be able to open during a designated severe weather event.

We also want to take a moment to thank those other organizations who had volunteered to serve as shelters, including: Antioch Southern Baptist Church, Our Lady of Lourdes, First Baptist Church of Harrisonville and The Vault.

MAP - Cass County Public Library

The shelter will only be activated in specific situations. An announcement will be made on the City’s social media when the shelter has been opened. 

The decision to activate the shelters will be made by the Harrisonville Emergency Services Director and their team of trained storm spotters. A combination of area forecasts and current weather conditions in and around Harrisonville will be taken into consideration before the decision is made.

Storm shelters graphic - Library

It is important to remember that the shelter being provided 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.

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.

Below is a list of helpful tips for shelter guests.

SHELTER TIPS

•    All pets MUST BE KEPT IN A CRATE OR CAGE.

•    Bring a working flashlight (the loss of electricity will be possible), any required medication and essential items.

•    Leave stereos and television sets at home.

•    Stay away from shelter windows, if they exist.

•    Walk carefully while inside the shelter.

•    Follow all instructions given by shelter hosts.

•    If possible, assist others with their needs.

•    Show respect to both fellow shelter guests and to shelter hosts.

•    Do not leave the shelter without being told to do so by the hosts.

Please do not wait until severe weather is happening to have a plan. Always stay weather aware, and take the time to prepare. Know the difference between a Watch and a Warning and know what to do if or when one is issued. Always have more than one way to receive potentially life-saving weather information. Injuries and deaths due to severe weather can be prevented through proper safety and preparedness measures.

For assistance in making an emergency plan for your family, visit https://www.ready.gov/plan 

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 the City of Harrisonville’s severe-weather protocols, please click here.