KC's drive-up COVID-19 test sites a potential target for severe weather

COVID-19 Mobile Testing Site
Photo credit © Florida Times-Union/USA TODAY NETWORK

Kansas City, MO - In the midst of a pandemic, there's another concern around the KC Metro - severe weather season.

With drive-up COVID-19 test sites popping up under canopy tenting, Andy Bailey, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, says medical staff need to have a contingency plan. 

"Most tents are transparent when it comes to lightning," says Bailey. "Anyone under the tent is still at risk of being struck.  And they have a much lower wind rating than a permanent structure."

While the focus is on testing as many people for the coronavirus at these sites, Bailey says an evacuation plan needs to be part of the planning for current and future sites. 

For those few towns in the region that have community storm shelters, they could see many more than 10 people gathered inside.   

Bailey said that if that’s the only place to seek shelter in bad weather or a tornado, follow community leaders’ guidance.