Stephen Redman, pastor of Ebenezer United Church of Christ in Levasy, Mo., leads a few rounds of trivia about natural disasters at a Disaster Readiness Coordinator training session in Columbia, Mo., on March 28-29. The training was part of an effort to better equip churches and faith-based organizations to respond to disaster.
When a tornado devastated Joplin in spring 2011, South Joplin Christian Church didn’t have a plan.
“The reality is that I remember no conversations where we said, ‘We could do this and this, and be prepared for part of our town being wiped off the map, for our church being damaged, and for many of our families losing their homes and businesses,” said Jill Michel, the church’s pastor. “There were no conversations that started that way.”
The Storm Prediction Center says there is a slight risk of severe weather in parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma on Thursday. The greatest risk will be in western Arkansas, southwestern Missouri and eastern Oklahoma.
Storms packing rain, snow and dangerous winds have raked the Midwest, spawning a possible tornado outside of St. Louis that prompted an emergency declaration from Missouri's governor.
To the north icy weather left thousands without power and prompted Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to call out the state National Guard to aid residents as the state braced for another storm system that threatened to dump several inches of wet snow Thursday.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for the weekend because of anticipated snowfalls of up to three inches per hour that could make driving nearly impossible at times.
Rain is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon across the state, posing a risk for travelers because of the rate of snowfall and lack of visibility. The storm is expected to continue until about noon Sunday in the western part of Missouri and taper off across the state throughout the day.