Missouri State University

Severe Weather and Tornadoes

Introduction

Missouri State University Severe Weather Storm Warning System utilizes exterior sirens and interior sirens located in some of the Residence Halls. These sirens are not to be confused with the fire alarm in a building. The sirens are controlled from a master control unit located in the Radio Communications Center of Safety & Transportation at 636 E. Elm. Once notified of a dangerous severe weather storm warning the sirens will be activated.

The Severe Weather Storm Warning System sirens are tested once each month along with the City of Springfield in cooperation with the Greene County Emergency Management Office. The exercise is normally conducted on the second Wednesday of each month unless it is cancelled due to inclement weather, then the exercise is postponed to the following Wednesday.

The State of Missouri conducts an annual state wide severe weather exercise in March. The exercise date will be announced in mid-February. All Missouri State University campuses participate in this exercise. The Springfield campus also conducts an evening exercise giving those on campus at night an opportunity to participate. The evening exercise does not include the West Plains campus.

Tornadoes usually occur in the spring and summer, but can occur anytime, in any season; they are formed by severe thunderstorms. Considered nature’s most violent, erratic storm, they consist of whirling winds beyond 300 miles per hour. Tornadoes can sweep through an area, causing serious damage and destruction, and then change direction and strike again. In addition to injuries and structural damage, electrical shorts, gas leaks, etc, they may create fires or other hazards. All must understand terminology regarding tornadoes. During the exercise, Building Coordinators will monitor the buildings to confirm participation.

At the end of the exercise, Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Heads, Building Coordinators or their designee will forward an evaluation to the Assistant Director of Safety at the Department of Public Safety & Transportation the following day.