The city of Carthage along with all of Jasper County will be participating the annual Statewide Tornado Drill, scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday March 6.

The city of Carthage along with all of Jasper County will be participating the annual Statewide Tornado Drill, scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday March 6.

The drill is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 4 to 10, a week to help Missourians learn more about potential severe weather and how to prepare for possible upcoming weather conditions.

The National Weather Service, State Emergency Management Agency and Roger Williams, City of Carthage Emergency Manager and Fire Chief, urge Carthage citizens and all Missourians to use this week’s resources to learn about severe weather and how to protect themselves in various scenarios.

As part of the tornado drill, Carthage’s outdoor warning sirens will sound, signaling the beginning of the statewide tornado drill and indicating that Missourians should practice taking shelter. If a tornado shelter is not available, the safest shelter location is a windowless basement or an interior room in the lowest level of a building. Put as many walls between you and the tornado. Other safe locations for businesses and schools include interior stairways and tornado safe rooms.

If severe weather is in the forecast for March 6, the tornado drill will be moved to 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 8.

Williams said the warning sirens for a full three minutes, just as they would in an actual warning.

The National Weather Service provides safety tips and educational information about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, lightning and the importance of NOAA Weather Radios on its Severe Weather Awareness Week page: http://www.weather.gov/lsx/severeweek.

Each day during the week focuses on a different safety message:

• Monday, March 5 - Preparedness Day;

• Tuesday, March 6 - Tornado Safety Day;

• Wednesday, March 7 - Flash Flood Safety Day;

• Thursday, March 8 - Severe Thunderstorm Day;

• Friday, March 9, Communication/NOAA Weather Radio Day.

In addition to the city’s procedures during the drill, the National Weather Service and the State Emergency Management Agency will be conducting their tests using various news mediums and alert systems.

The NWS will kick off the drill with a Tornado Warning which is plainly marked as a test. This test will cause NOAA Weather Radios to activate.

Jasper County Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer encourages everyone to be proactive and prepare for weather safety. Preparing today may make the difference in surviving the storms to come this spring.

He also encourages people to seek appropriate notification system and reminds the public about the warning sirens’ purpose.

“The sirens provide a warning for anyone who is out of doors to go indoors, if possible, and take shelter,” he said. “People indoors cannot always expect to hear the outdoor warning sirens.”

Stammer encourages residents to utilize a NOAA Weather Radio that provides a warning signal when the area is under a watch or a warning. “The advantage of having a weather radio is that you hear the alerts directly from the National Weather Service, and are kept current of the warning status.” Weather radios are available at local retailers and are priced at approximately $30.

Fire Chief Roger Williams encourages all citizens of Carthage to think ahead and prepare for possible upcoming severe storms during the spring season. Have a plan before the warnings are issued and sirens are sounded. Schools and Health Care facilities are also encouraged to practice their safety procedures during the drill. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me so we can discuss your options. Thanks and please remember to be “Weather Aware.”