Even though warnings are issued in severe weather, not everyone pays attention to them.
The residents of Joplin, Missouri are realizing now exactly how important it is to take weather warnings seriously.
Many residents say warnings happen all the time, so they never think it's going to hit their neighborhood.
Chief Larry Shifflett, with the Harrisonburg Fire Department, says sometimes it takes an act of nature to happen to someone, or someone they know, before they really understand the dangers.
Although severe weather doesn't exactly happen in the Valley as often as it does it the Midwest, many people need to be prepared in the event that it does happen.
Shifflett says, "It's very difficult to get them to realize that it can happen here, and it can happen here just like it can happen any other place."
When people frequently hear the warnings, Shifflett says it's common for people to think that it's never going to happen in their area.
He says they may think the storm will just blow over and it won't be that bad even if it does hit their area. ,
So next time you hear severe weather warnings you may want to think about Joplin, Missouri.
Shifflett says, "People need to be paying attention to the warnings and the watches and the things that are provided for them to help keep their families safe."
With a very active severe weather season already this year and hurricane season starting in a week, emergency officials are urging everyone to be prepared.
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