The City of Maryville and the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the statewide tornado drill at 10 am, Tuesday, March 6.

At this time, the outdoor warning sirens will sound. The regular weekly test on Wednesday will not occur. In the case of actual inclement weather on March 6, the drill will be postponed and conducted at 10 am, Thursday, March 8.

Missouri Severe Weather Week is March 4-10. This is a great time for families, schools and businesses to practice emergency plans. Severe weather includes tornados, severe thunderstorms, hail, straight line winds, lightning and flash flooding.

Planning information may be obtained at Maryville Public Safety or the Nodaway County Health Department.

Tips for planning:

• Determine the safest place to be in your home or office.

• Purchase a NOAA weather radio and extra batteries.

• Assemble an emergency kit before disaster strikes; include flashlight, radio, extra batteries, medicines, diapers/wipes, formula, first aid kit, bottled water, etc.

• Remember, outdoor sirens are meant to be heard by people outside as a warning to take cover inside when a threat is imminent. Maryville Public Safety and the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office do not use an all-clear siren.

• Know the difference between a watch vs. warning. A tornado watch means watch the sky; a tornado may form during a thunderstorm. A tornado warning means seek shelter immediately.

The safest shelter location is an interior room without windows on the lowest floor. Do not seek shelter in a cafeteria, gymnasium or other large open room because the roof might collapse. Immediately leave a mobile home to seek shelter in a nearby building.

Overpasses are not safe. Their under-the-girder-type construction can cause a dangerous wind tunnel effect. If you are driving, stop and take shelter in a nearby building. If you are driving in a rural area, drive away from the tornado to the closest building. If you cannot get away, seek shelter in a roadside ditch. Protect yourself from flying debris by covering your head with your arms, a coat or a blanket. Be prepared to move quickly in case the ditch fills with water.

Never drive into standing water. It can take less than six inches of fast moving water to make a slow moving car float. Once floating, a vehicle can overturn and sink.

According to the National Weather Service, Missouri experienced 83 tornadoes, with one death and 32 injuries, in 2017. Travis Koenig of Perryville was killed on February 28, 2017, when a tornado carried his pickup truck off Interstate 55 in Perry County.

In 2015, Missouri experienced 27 flooding deaths, the highest total, followed by nine flooding deaths each in 2017 and 2008.

Missourians need to understand that here and across the nation more than half the people killed by flooding were in vehicles and drove into floodwater. Many of those deaths occur at low-water crossings.