March 2: Cities to test sirens as part of Statewide Tornado Drills

JOPLIN, Mo. / PITTSBURG, Kan. – Several cities in the 4-state area plan to sound their sirens as part of the National Weather Service Statewide Tornado Drill on March 2, 2021.

The Cities of Joplin and  Pittsburg plan to participate. You can find information from both below.


Severe Weather Awareness Week will be recognized from March 1 to 5 to help Missourians learn more about potential severe weather and how to prepare for possible weather conditions in upcoming comings.

The National Weather Service (NWS), State Emergency Management Agency and Keith Stammer, Joplin and Jasper County’s Emergency Manager, urge Joplin citizens and all Missourians to use this week’s resources to learn about severe weather and how to protect themselves in various scenarios.

The highlight of the week is the statewide tornado drill which will be initiated by the NWS at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2. Should hazardous weather be a threat, the drill will be postponed until 10 a.m. on March 4.

This tornado drill will be observed by the City of Joplin by sounding the warning sirens for a full three minutes, the same amount that would occur in an actual warning. 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. This test will cause NOAA Weather Radios to activate.

During the annual Statewide Tornado Drill, citizens are reminded to 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.

As this drill kicks off the 2021 Severe Weather Awareness Week, observed from March 1 – 5, Stammer reminds 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.

For information on Joplin’s siren activation policy, please visit http://www.joplinmo.org/index.aspx?nid=589. In addition to the drill, the NWS will highlight preparedness on the following days:

  • Monday – Preparedness Day
  • Tuesday – Tornado Safety Day
  • Wednesday – Lightning Safety Day
  • Thursday – Severe Thunderstorm Day
  • Friday – Flood Safety Day

For additional background on these topics and more, see https://www.weather.gov/sgf/SevereWeatherAwarenessWeek


The City of Pittsburg will participate in the National Weather Service Statewide Tornado Drill on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 by conducting an audio test of its outdoor storm warning sirens at 10:00 am. This test is a part of NWS Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 1-5.

This test will replace the monthly test typically completed on the first Wednesday of each month. No test will be performed on Wednesday, March 3.

The statewide test will also be broadcast over NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and many local television and radio stations. Area residents, businesses, and schools are asked to treat the drill as if it were an actual tornado warning.

Weather permitting, monthly audio testing of the City’s outdoor warning sirens is conducted on the first Wednesday of every month at noon during the months of April through October to ensure the sirens are operational. Testing dates and times are as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 7, 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 5, 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, June 2, 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 7, 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, Aug. 4, 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, Sept. 1, 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6, 12:00 pm

For more information on Severe Weather Preparedness Week, go to https://www.weather.gov/top/swaw.
To learn more about the city’s outdoor warning sirens, visit https://www.pittks.org/services/storm-information/.

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