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Carl Junction, MO officials meet to discuss new emergency plan for the safety of residents

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City officials in Carl Junction, MO meet tonight to discuss a possible new emergency plan for the safety of residents.  The city has no emergency plan right now, and the city's administrator says it's a situation that could turn a disaster even more chaotic.

Justin Greuel is trying to get ready for spring storm season.

"We have four kids, between me and my girlfriend.  And my girlfriend is scared to death of storms," says Greuel.

Greuel has a plan in case a tornado hits.  But the city where he lives, Carl Junction, does not.

"It makes you feel a little bit nervous," says Greuel.

"We had experience," says City Administrator Steve Lawver.

Lawver remembers the city's 2003 tornado.  

"You can lose organizational stuff," says Lawver.

It's stuff that centers around what can be normally common sense, including prioritizing who takes care of what.

"I want to live in a town where I can feel safe," says Greuel.

City officials say it's time to get specific and write it all down on paper.

"What do you do to your water system to protect it?  Do you bring in generators so that you can still provide fresh water?  We need to be able to coordinate with outside agencies.  We need to be able to coordinate with, not only local outside agencies, but with state agencies," says Lawver.

The city already has a new policy of when to sound storm sirens.  Instead of only sounding them when a tornado has been seen on the ground and heading for the city, the sirens will now sound when there's Doppler indicated rotation in the sky nearby, or when there's winds 75 mph or greater.

When it comes to storm sirens or emergency plans, Greuel says, "It's a matter of life and death."

"God forbid, somebody is killed, there might be some responsibility there and there might be some liability there that the city would have to take on," says Lawver.

But the city administrator also says, "It is ultimately an individual responsibility.  But we have the responsibility of giving them the tools that they need to help protect themselves."

Similar to Joplin's storm siren policy, CJ's storm siren policy is to not also sound an "all clear" siren after the initial take cover siren(s) have sounded.  

Lawver also says, "It'll bring more resources to the city because we have that plan.  We'll be able to qualify for emergency management grant opportunities, either through CEMA or FEMA." 

 
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