JOPLIN, Mo. - A tornado drill is a way to test how prepared someone is for a life-threatening severe weather event. But for some, the sound of tornado sirens can be a trigger for PTSD. According to the National Center for PTSD, people suffering from the disorder can re-experience symptoms through memories or a reminder of the traumatic experience.
"For myself, definitely was feeling a lot of anxiety in the year following," said Patrick Hoskins, former Joplin resident.
"The events of 2011 should be, you know, still some what fresh in our mind. So, it gives you that opportunity to practice and maybe, more of a controlled setting where you're not really panicking, where it's not really truly an emergency. So, it gives you that time to just relax, prepare," said Jim Furgerson, Joplin Fire Chief.
Hoskins was fortunate not to suffer from PTSD, but the May 2011 tornado has definitely changed his view on severe weather.
"It definitely has me more aware of the weather around me. Before, I didn't really pay too much attention if the sirens would go off, but I'm very aware of them now," said Hoskins.
It is encouraged that everyone participate on Tuesday and practice often on their own.
"I would encourage everybody to take the time and practice, you know, on a weekly basis," said Furgerson.
Furgerson stressed that practice makes perfect, saying the more repetition, the more comfortable one will be if the real situation were to occur.
In honor of Severe Weather Awareness Week, the City of Joplin will participate in a statewide tornado drill. It is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Joplin will be sounding the warning for a full three minutes, which is the same amount of time in an actual warning. If there is severe weather Tuesday, the drill will be held on 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17th. The city will regularly sound its tornado sirens the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m., weather permitting.