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Safe Room Information

The Community Safe Room at West Central Elementary, 1001 W. 7th St., is ready for use during tornado and dangerous high wind events.

- The Community Safe Room is owned by Joplin Schools, and its first function is to provide protection for West Central Elementary students and staff during tornado and extreme high wind events during school hours.

- During and after school hours, the Safe Room will also be available to residents who do not have safe locations to take shelter such as a basement and who live within what we refer to as the “Tornado Protection Zone” (TPZ - see link to map below).

Tornado Protection Zone:

- The TPZ represents a 1/4-mile radius around the school and a roughly five-minute or less walking distance to the Safe Room at West Central Elementary.

- Due to the estimated time necessary to safely reach the Safe Room after a weather warning has been issued and the Safe Room’s maximum capacity of 974 persons, including the student body and staff, the Safe Room is not designed to provide shelter for those who live beyond this protection zone.

Notification of Safe Room Opening:

- Your official notification that the Safe Room is open will be through your NOAA weather radio.

The Safe Room will be opened when:

- The National Weather Service issues a tornado warning

- Tornado sirens are activated by the City of Joplin

If a weather warning is issued after school hours, a designated trained safe room supervisor will open the facility for the community and oversee the facility for the duration of the weather warning.


Please call West Central's Principal at (417) 625-5380.

Safe Room Rules

Community Safe Room Rules & Procedures

- During school hours, students and staff have priority for Safe Room occupancy.

- The Safe Room is open only to the public when a tornado warning or any time tornado sirens are activated by Joplin’s Emergency Management Director. It should also be noted, that when district administrators have information that leads them to believe that a life-threatening storm system is approaching our area from any county contiguous with the borders of Jasper County, and the storm path includes the City of Joplin, Joplin Schools personnel could open the Community Safe Rooms before a tornado warning is issued, or storm sirens are activated. If safe rooms are opened ahead of a tornado warning or activation of storm sirens, that information will be announced on the district’s Facebook page.

- The Safe Room will remain open only until the warning is lifted. When the warning expires, the Safe Room must be evacuated.

- During school hours, a Safe Room Manager is in charge and will be on duty to maintain the facility and to close it after the warning expires. After school hours, a volunteer Safe Room Supervisor will be in charge. Please follow the directions of the Safe Room Manager/Supervisor or other school personnel at all times.

- Weapons are prohibited in the Safe Room or on all school property.

- Smoking or the use of tobacco in any form is prohibited in Safe Rooms and on all school property.

- Alcohol and drugs (other than those prescribed by a doctor) are prohibited in Safe Rooms and on all school property.

- Pets are not allowed in the Safe Room unless they are confined in an owner provided and airline approved carrier.

- Radios or music devices may be used only with individual earphones.

- Safe Room doors must remain closed at all times.

Helpful Links

Weather rader

national weather service


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