JOPLIN, Mo. — This week is Severe Weather Preparedness Week for the states of Kansas and Missouri.

Today’s focus is on tornado preparedness.

Like many students across the states of Missouri and Kansas Tuesday, students at Stapleton Elementary School in Joplin practiced their tornado drill.

“It helps our students and staff with what our procedures will be in case it is a real event. It also gives us an opportunity to check our plans and make sure that they’re working the way that we hope that they will, and to make necessary changes, you know, so that we have the best plan in case of a real event,” said Jim Hounsell.

The State Emergency Management Departments and the National Weather Service sent out the tornado drill to encourage everyone to practice their tornado safety procedure, treating it as if it is an actual tornado.

“They should really have a plan in place, and that’s kind of what the state tornado drill is all about is to make sure you have a plan. We encourage people if they have a safe place in their home to take advantage of that and not try to get out, you know, during a tornado warning,” said Hounsell.

The National Weather Service advises sheltering in a FEMA shelter as the best option for a tornado, but if that’s not an option – you should go to the lowest place of a well-built structure, like a basement.

If there’s no basement, go to an interior room with no windows.

“They really need to pay attention to the weather, and if they can drive to a community saferoom location prior to a storm hitting the area,” said Hounsell.