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Hollister Severe Weather Readiness

Posted Date: 02/28/2023


The Weather Ready Nation initiative is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability from extreme weather events. Recent tornadoes, floods, drought, and other severe weather events demonstrate the need to be prepared. The National Weather Service and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency set aside the week of March 6 to educate Missouri residents and to help them become weather-ready.

The City of Hollister and the Hollister R-V School District want to ensure that all members of the Hollister Community have a plan, know where to go and are aware of resources provided through the city and the school.

Deputy City Administrator, Denise Olmstead, shares that people should know how to prepare for each type of emergency. “Tornadoes, straight-line wind, and flooding are the weather events that are most common in our area,” she says.

The Hollister Emergency Operations Center operates at the Hollister Police Station. During the threat of severe weather events, the operations center monitors the National Weather Service. It will utilize the City of Hollister App to send out an alert to residents of severe weather events, closed roads, and other pertinent information. (For more information on the app visit the City of Hollister’s website, 

In the event of a tornado, there is a FEMA shelter located on the Hollister School Campus between the middle school and high school (directly across from the football stadium entrance). The FEMA shelter is designed to withstand an EF5 tornado. When a tornado watch is issued for Taney County, a member of the FEMA Shelter Team will prepare the shelter for opening. At the time a tornado warning is issued the shelter will be opened.

Dr. Sean Woods, Hollister School Assistant Superintendent of District Operations, shares that the FEMA shelter is open to the Hollister community outside of school operating hours. “During the school day, due to capacity and safety procedures, our FEMA shelters are for our students and staff only. However, when school is not in session the FEMA shelter is open to all members of the Hollister community,” he says. 

The school district seeks individuals to help serve on the FEMA Shelter Team. Members of this team are responsible for getting the shelter ready during a watch and opening it up during a warning. Volunteers should be at least 21 years of age, willing to come to the FEMA shelter when a tornado watch is issued, and be in good standing within the community. 

In the event of a watch, the shelter is readied by one of the team’s FEMA volunteers, who rotate on a schedule. The shelter is then opened for community members during the warning. The school district does ask that volunteers agree to at least a one-year commitment to the team and attend at least one yearly training with the district. Volunteers can begin the sign-up process by emailing Dr. Sean Woods at

“Together, we can be proactive,” says John Rousselot, City of Hollister Emergency Manager and FEMA Shelter Team Leader. “Together we can make Hollister a community that is prepared to be resilient to all types of weather hazards.”