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Posted on: February 10, 2020

NEW: Two severe-weather shelters available in Harrisonville

Storm-shelter sign

The City of Harrisonville and Harrisonville Emergency Services urge you to be prepared for the many types of disasters possible here in the Heartland.

Taking appropriate shelter is critical in times of disaster. And being aware of the resources available to you could save your life.

After listening to concerns from several Harrisonville residents in the spring of 2019 about the lack of public shelter available during severe-weather events, Mayor Judy Bowman and several other City officials began work to provide a much-needed community resource.

During this process, multiple Harrisonville churches and community organizations volunteered their facilities as shelters during designated severe-weather events. Those facilities are: First Baptist Church of Harrisonville, located at 504 W Wall Street, The Vault, located at 100 E Pearl Street and Antioch Southern Baptist Church, located at 2601 E Mechanic Street. Originally, The Vault was not included as an available shelter, but after another facility was no longer able to offer its facility, their facility was added to the list of current shelters.

NOTE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the First Baptist Church of Harrisonville has said that they will not be offering their facility as a shelter until the pandemic is brought under control.

Click on each link to see a map showing the location of that shelter.

First Baptist Church of Harrisonville

The Vault

Antioch Southern Baptist Church 

Storm shelters map vault edit

The above-mentioned facilities will only be activated in specific situations. An announcement will be made on the City’s social media when the shelters have been opened. 

The decision to activate the shelters will be made by the Harrisonville Emergency Services Director and their team of trained storm spotters. A combination of area forecasts and current weather conditions in and around Harrisonville will be taken into consideration before the decision is made.

Storm shelters graphic vault edit

Ultimately, the decision to open the shelters will be made by each church individually. Residents should check the City’s social media or contact their destination church to ensure it is open before heading there.

It is important to remember that the shelter being provided by these facilities during severe weather is only intended to be for a limited time. In the event a tornado occurs, and long-term shelter is needed, the American Red Cross and other agencies will determine where post-event shelters will be located.

Shelter guests will be allowed to bring their pets with them, but all animals must be kept in a crate or a cage. Crates/cages will not be provided by the shelter.

Guests are reminded that while most shelters are ADA accessible, not all shelters are equipped with ADA-compliant restrooms.

Below is a list of helpful tips for shelter guests.

SHELTER TIPS

•    All pets MUST BE KEPT IN A CRATE OR CAGE.

•    Bring a working flashlight (the loss of electricity will be possible), any required medication and essential items.

•    Leave stereos and television sets at home.

•    Stay away from shelter windows, if they exist.

•    Walk carefully while inside the shelter.

•    Follow all instructions given by shelter hosts.

•    If possible, assist others with their needs.

•    Show respect to both fellow shelter guests and to shelter hosts.

•    Do not leave the shelter without being told to do so by the hosts.

Please do not wait until severe weather is happening to have a plan. Always stay weather aware, and take the time to prepare. Know the difference between a Watch and a Warning and know what to do if or when one is issued. Always have more than one way to receive potentially life-saving weather information. Injuries and deaths due to severe weather can be prevented through proper safety and preparedness measures.

For assistance in making an emergency plan for your family, visit https://www.ready.gov/plan 

We encourage all residents to avoid traveling during a tornado warning. Only move to the churches for shelter if you know you have enough time to make it there safely. If the warning is already here and on top of the City, shelter in place. This means going into a basement, or for structures without a basement, going into the most interior room, as close to ground level as possible. 

These shelters are not being operated by the City. They are overseen by the churches and are for those who do not have a safe place to go during severe weather.

For more information about the City of Harrisonville’s severe-weather protocols, please click here.

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