Severe weather season approaching: Public storm shelters in the Four States

Local News

Storm near Enid, Oklahoma. (Getty Images file)

With March being Storm Preparedness Month, knowing where your closest public storm shelter is can be crucial when severe weather hits. 

If you are in an area that is under a severe storm weather warning or tornado warning, it is advised to find shelter. If you do not have your own storm shelter, making use of a nearby public shelter may be the next option. 

MISSOURI 

In Missouri, Joplin Schools offers various storm shelters within their schools for the public’s use. As Joplin Schools writes: “The following Community Safe Rooms are available to the community during a Tornado Warning, and/or when the tornado sirens have sounded. If Community Safe Rooms open before a Tornado Warning, or before tornado sirens sound, notification will be posted on the district’s Facebook page.” 

They also provide a map showing the locations of the 14 schools available with safe room storm shelters. These locations include: 

Cecil Floyd Elementary 

2201 W. 24th St.  

Beacon School 
202 Malloy Cr., Duenweg 

Eastmorland Elementary 

1131 Highview Ave. 

Irving Elementary 

2901 S. McClelland Blvd. 

Jefferson Elementary 

130 McKinley Ave.  

Joplin High School 

2104 Indiana Ave. 

Junge Stadium 

800 Junge Blvd.  

Kelsey Norman Elementary 

1323 E. 28th St. 

McKinley Elementary  

610 S. Forest Ave. 

Royal Heights Elementary 

2100 Rolla St. 

Soaring Heights Elementary 

4604 E. 20th St. 

Stapleton Elementary 

101 E. 41st. St. 

West Central Elementary 

1001 W. 7th St. 

Other shelters available in Missouri, located in Newton County according to the Newton County website, includes: 

Neosho 

South Elementary — 1111 Wornall St. Blvd. 

Carver Elementary — 12350 Norway Rd. 

Neosho High School — 511 S Neosho Blvd. 

 
Crowder College 

Davidson Hall — 601 Laclede Ave. 

 
Granby area 

East Newton High School — 22876 Hwy. 86 

 
Seneca 

Seneca Intermediate School — 1815 St. Eugene St. 

 
Diamond 

Between middle and elementary school — 401 S. Main 

 
Stella 

East of the Veterans’ Memorial located on Ozark Street 

Additional shelters available to Missouri residents located in McDonald County, according to the McDonald County’s website, includes: 

Pineville 

Pineville Elementary School — 8th and Highway W. 

Southwest City 

Southwest City Elementary School — 411 Academy Street 

Anderson 

McDonald County High School — 100 Mustang Lane 

Freeman Health also provides a comprehensive list of FEMA approved storm shelters throughout the state of Missouri. 

KANSAS 

Community shelters available in Cherokee County, according to the City of Columbus, includes: 

Baxter Springs 

Middle School – 104 Military Ave. 

Central School – 1501 Park Ave. 

Lincoln Elementary School – 801 Lincoln Ave. 

Columbus 

Calvary Baptist Church – 605 E. Sycamore St. 

Park School – 724 Garfield Ave. 

Galena 

Liberty Grade School – 624 E 8th St. 

Spring Grove School – 1900 Galena Ave. 

Galena High School – 602 E 8th St. 

Riverton 

Spring River Mental Health & Wellness Center – 6610 SE. Quakervalle Rd. 

Roseland 

Roseland City Hall/ Community Storm Shelter – 101 W. Roseland Blvd. 

Weir 

Weir Elementary School – 303 S. Humbert St. 

West Mineral 

West Mineral Fire Station – 106 Patterson St. 

Other shelters available to the public in Kansas, located in Allen County according to the Allen County website, includes: 

Ellsmore 

North side of the road – 2nd and Main 

Gas City 

Fees Park – 201 N. Morrill 

Behind City Hall – 205 N. Stanley 

Community Center – 624 W. Pine 

North End of Barley Lane 

2nd and Humphrey St. 

South End of Sout Morrill 

Walnut and Daly 

South Stanley and 3rd St. 

Humboldt 

Cannon Park – 9th and Charles 

Water Plant – 2nd and Bridge 

Swimming Pool – 801 Indiana 

Lutheran Church – 910 Amos 

City Hall – 725 Bridge 

Iola 

Bowlus (backdoor from the alley) –205 E. Madison 

Lincoln School (south door, west side) – 700 N. Jefferson 

McKinley School (east side) – 209 S. Kentucky 

LaHarpe 

South end of the park – 7th and Jackson 

East side of the church – 9th and Jefferson 

City Hall – 10th and Broadway 

Moran 

Behind the library – 319 N. Cedar 

East side of ball fields – 511 W. Randolph. 

Additional public shelters in Kansas, located in Neosho County according to the Neosho County website, includes: 

Chanute 

Tioga Hotel – Corner of Main St. & Lincoln Ave. 

NCCC Gymnasium – 800 W. 14th St. 

Lincoln School – 1000 W. Main St. 

Erie 

Erie Courthouse – 101 S. Main St. 

Thayer 

Thayer United Methodist Church – Corner of Labette & Okmulgee 

Band Shell at Thayer City Park 

St. Paul 

St. Paul High School – 318 1st Street (K-47 Highway) 

Public shelters available in the City of Parsons, according to the city’s website, includes: 

Parsons Municipal Building, basement 

112 S. 17th St. (North/South Doors) 

Fire Station #1, basement 

1819 Washington 

Guthridge School, safe room 

1020 S. 31st St. 

Lincoln School, safe room 

1800 Dirr Ave. 

Garfield School, safe room 

300 S. 14th St. 

Parsons High School, safe room 

3030 Morton (East Side) 

Additional Kansas shelters available to the community, located in Crawford County according to their respective websites, includes: 

Arma 

Northeast High School — 1003 E S. St. 

Currently there is no public storm shelter available in Pittsburg. Instead, the City of Pittsburg website stated that in the instance of a tornado or severe weather to, “Remain calm and seek shelter immediately in an interior room, away from windows and exterior walls.” 

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management released a statement in March 2020 addressing public shelters in the time of the Coronavirus. They state that your first priority should be protecting yourself from a potential tornado. Though they added that it is up to the discretion of the local officials whether a community shelter is offered or not and it is advised to check with officials to ensure they are open. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said in the statement that citizens should not forget the imminent fear of a tornado, even amid COVID-19. 

“… If you have to seek refuge in a community shelter, try to practice social distancing and other precautions as much as possible to minimize your risk,” Kelly said. 

OKLAHOMA 

The City of Miami said in a statement on the city’s website that “The City of Miami does not maintain public storm shelters.” 

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