Joplin Tornado / NOAA
2:46 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Update: NOAA says "vast majority" of residents didn't respond to first Joplin tornado siren

Updated 2:03 p.m. with link to full report

Updated 12:46 p.m. with information from report

Originally published 10:46 a.m.

The federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service says warning sirens and notifications went out well ahead of the devastating Joplin tornado. But it says residents didn't respond quickly enough to the sirens warning of the impending twister.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday in a report about communications before and during the May 22 tornado that killed 162 people in the southwest Missouri city that the National Weather Service was well-prepared and "performed in an exemplary manner." The report also said combined efforts from the weather service, emergency management and the public "saved many lives."

But the report said "the vast majority of Joplin residents" didn't respond to the first siren because of an apparent widespread disregard for tornado sirens.

Original Story:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is preparing to release a report about its communication efforts before the deadly May tornado that hit Joplin.

Top administrators from the agency on Tuesday afternoon will discuss a report from assessment teams sent to Joplin to look over the damage. The twister killed more than 160 people and injured hundreds more.

The National Weather Service team examined warning and forecast services before the EF-5 tornado hit and also reviewed the public's response to warning communications. NOAA says the team's goal was to identify what was done correctly and areas that could be improved.

Keith Stammer, Jasper County emergency manager, and NOAA's deputy administrator Kathryn Sullivan are expected to discuss findings from that report.