storm safety

There are four storm shelters located in Monroe City and will be open to the public to take shelter during COVID-19. Should the need arise, those taking shelter are asked to wear a mask if they have one available. The shelters are located at City Hall, the Holy Rosary Church Basement, the Baptist Church and the Christian Church.

The sirens are set off per protocol when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning impacting Monroe City. Sirens may also be set off if the Monroe County Sheriff, Monroe City Police Chief or Monroe City Fire Chief spot a tornado.

Roughly 1,000 tornadoes per year are reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Tornadoes are intense, violent storms that feature a column of air that extends from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground.

Tornadoes can occur anywhere in the world. However, the United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country. According to Verisk’s Property Claim Service, tornadoes accounted for 39.9 percent of insured catastrophe losses from 1997 to 2016, and the average annual loss on these severe storms was $11.23 billion.

Tornadoes, although impressive to watch, are volatile storms with great power. They have the capability to flip cars, destroy buildings and send deadly debris flying into the air. Intense winds can reach more than 200 miles per hour.

The Department of Homeland Security notes that there are many things people can do to keep themselves safe from tornadoes before, during and after these storms.

Establish a safe room in your home, which can be a basement or a cellar. In rooms with no below-ground levels, the safest place is a small, interior room on the lowest level away from windows and doors.

Sign up for emergency alert warning systems that cater to your area so you know well in advance if a tornado is coming. Practice what to do in the event of a tornado so the entire family knows what to do if disaster strikes. Keep tornado readiness supplies handy. These include clean water, batteries, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, and packaged, nonperishable foods.

If a tornado warning is issued, move indoors into a safe location for the duration of the tornado. Tornadoes blow through quite quickly so timing is of the essence. If you cannot get to shelter, lay down flat in a low-lying area. Do not go under a highway overpass or attempt to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.