In March of 2021, Lt. John Baker, who is the Asst. Director of Belton Emergency Management Agency (BEMA), began revising the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for the City of Belton. It was heavily revised and expanded upon, to bring it up to date. The EOP was approved by City Council on October 27, 2021. The EOP consists of an intro and 17 annexes for guidance in a wide variety of critical incident(s).
There are several private storm shelters in our community. None of them are owned or managed by BEMA or the City of Belton. We encourage citizen(s) to always stay weather aware. The only FEMA certified shelter is located at the Belton High School, 801 West North Avenue, Belton, Missouri 64012. This FEMA shelter is open to the public and has a maximum occupancy of 1516. Citizen(s) may enter the shelter with service animal(s). As the Director of BEMA, I and/or my designee will notify the school district to activate the shelter under tornado warnings. The BEMA Employees will also assist with the activation of this shelter.
BEMA manages the maintenance and activation of the storm siren(s) system. This year, we have a contract with a maintenance vendor, who installed a software that daily tests the entire system. More recently, we upgraded the software with feature that activates the siren(s) based on tornado warning polygon(s) issued by the National Weather Service. The siren(s) will automatically activate if the polygon(s) are within the alerting area.
There are no “All Clear Alert(s)” issued through the BEMA storm siren(s) system. This is not a feature of any system in Cass County or the State of Missouri. The storm siren(s) system is designed to alert citizen(s) outside during the event. It is not designed to be heard indoors.
If anyone wants phone alert(s) related to severe weather events in Belton, please enroll at Cass County, Missouri Emergency Notification System (https://www.casscountyesb.com/index-2.php) or call 816-887-1953 for assistance. BEMA strongly suggests during severe weather events that citizens obtain further information from news media outlets, NOAA weather radios, smartphone apps, etc. This is the best way to obtain the “All Clear.” If citizens witness flash flooding, they are encouraged to call 911 to report the incident.
Finally, BEMA will begin its annual citizen education campaign in the month of March. Please watch our BEMA and police department Facebook pages.
Always Stay Safe and Weather Aware,
Chief Scott Lyons
Emergency Management is charged with: