JOPLIN, MO.--- Joplin city officials respond to a federal study on the May 2011 tornado. Back in November, the National Institute of Standards and Technology gave 16 recommendations for national storm safety. City staff say they're concentrating on three of those ideas. The NIST recommends national guidelines establishing the safest part of a building or structure to take cover, city leaders say they've amended building codes since 2011 to help buildings withstand powerful storm forces.
Also, the NIST recommends a guideline to make sure citizens get severe weather warnings as quick as possible. Since the 2011 tornado, city officials have donated 4,000 NOAA Weather Radios to people throughout the city and upgraded the storm siren system. Lastly, a recommendation to include more public safety shelters throughout communities nationwide was also included in the report. City officials say their own findings suggest a safe place should be available in any structure, not just a public place.
"The average time we have from when we sight a tornado until one touches down, runs around 10 minutes. And if you think about it, that's not enough time to do anything except 'shelter in place' or hide where you are," said Keith Stammer, Joplin Emergency Managment Director.
The NIST used the Joplin tornado as an example to recommend guidelines be adopted in all communities across the nation. If you'd like to see the whole NIST report with all 16 national storm safety standard recommendations, click here.
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