When the tornado siren sounds, or your NOAA Weather Radio advises there is a tornado warning for your community, where will you take shelter?
Some have safe rooms or storm shelters. If you don't, and have time to safely get to one of the shelters open to the public, here is a list.
Mena High School - Mena
Holly Harshman Elementary - Mena
Acorn School - Acorn
Polk County Courthouse Basement - Mena
The shelters listed above will automatically open when the local tornado sirens are activated, according to Polk County Office of Emergency Management Director Kris Lyle. Lyle also pointed out that pets are not allowed in the shelters.
If you are forced to shelter in place, see the graphic below for some dos and don'ts.
Having as much advance notice as possible is very important, so if you don't already, consider buying a NOAA Weather Alert Radio. Keep fresh backup batteries in your NOAA Weather Radio so it will warn you even if the electricity is off. When a "Tornado Watch" is issued, pay close attention to the weather radio since a "tornado watch" means that conditions are favorable for the development of a tornado. A "Tornado Warning" means there has been a sighting by a trained spotter or law enforcement officer, or a tornado is radar indicated. When "Tornado Warnings" are issued, take cover!
KAWX streams the Mena NOAA Weather Radio station and provides a free app. The stream and app are not intended to replace actual NOAA Weather Radios with alerting capabilities. To listen to the stream on your PC, click anywhere on this line
. The free "Mena Weather Radio" app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Finally, have a Severe Weather Plan. Keep phones charged, flashlights handy, and important numbers where you can find them. Portable AM-FM radio that operate on batteries and police scanners are also very good sources for information before, during and after severe weather.
April and May are the traditional "severe weather" months for Arkansas, so stay weather aware!