COLUMBIA, Mo. - In the event residents of Mid-Missouri hear a tornado siren, emergency management experts with multiple counties said having a plan in mind is key.
City of Columbia officials said they do not have contact with landlords about disaster preparedness and, when ABC 17 News contacted more than 10 apartment complexes in Mid-Missouri, 90% of them said getting to an interior room, such as a bathroom or closet, is what's suggested.
In addition, some apartment complexes said they have a designated shelter area, such as a basement, so knowing whether they have one or not and where one might be is important to know beforehand.
Bill Far, the director of the Cole County Office of Emergency Management, said each person must plan ahead for when tornado sirens go off.
Boone County Emergency Management director Tom Hurley said those who say it can never happen in Mid-Missouri are wrong.
"Missouri does have tornadoes. It would be irresponsible to ignore those for any purposes," said Hurley.
According to ABC 17 Chief Meteorologist Sharon Ray, May is normally the peak month for tornadoes. Last year, on the night of March 6, there were seven confirmed tornadoes in Mid-Missouri.
According to these experts, finding a downstairs location, preferably a restroom without windows or a closet, is in the best interest of residents seeking safety.
Hurley said getting to know your neighbors in advance, so you can help each other out, is a good idea. He also recommends signing up for alerts.
Boone County's director said county residents can go to smart911.com to receive alerts in the event of a tornado. The free service includes all cities and towns in Boone County.