Appendix 5 to the Basic Plan


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This Appendix is designed to provide an overview of the hazards that could affect Saline County. In general, hazards can be placed into two (2) categories: Natural and Technological.




          Since Missouri lies in the heart of the nationМs tornado alley, its residents are particularly vulnerable to tornadoes. Seventy percent of MissouriМs tornadoes occur during the months of March, April, May and June, but a tornado can occur at any time of the year.

Winter Storms


          Although excessive snowfalls with prolonged severe cold or storms producing blizzard conditions are rare in Missouri, they do occur.


          A large winter storm accompanied by severe cold could cause numerous secondary hazards such as power failures, fuel shortages, and transportation incidents.



          Floods are a potential threat to the county because of the Missouri and Blackwater rivers. Saline County and the communities of Emma, Marshall, Slater and Sweet Springs are participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.



          Although earthquakes in the Midwest occur less frequently than on the west coast, threat of an earthquake affecting Missouri is high. For more information, see Attachment A and Addendum 1to this appendix.


Additional natural hazards which could affect Saline County include: wildfires, drought, and severe storms.


Hazardous Materials Incident


          Saline County is prone to hazardous materials incidents from both fixed facilities and transportation accidents (highway, waterway, and railway) including pipeline rupture. See Attachment C.


          For additional information on hazardous materials incidents, see the Hazardous Materials Annex .

Transportation Incidents


          Saline County and its municipalities are vulnerable to transportation incidents involving highway, water, air or rail passenger travel. School buses, tour buses, and commercial buses can or do utilize the roadways in Saline County. Passenger trains, such as Am-Track, do not pass through the county. Although Saline County has two airstrips (Marshall and Slater), the nearest airports having commercial service are Columbia and Kansas City. Riverboats could also be a potential hazard for the county, should future gaming or touring boats use the Missouri River which borders the northern and eastern edges of the county.

Dam Failure


          Saline County is vulnerable to the effects of a levee or dam failure, since 23 dams have been identified in the county. Also, dams located in surrounding counties could pose a threat to portions of Saline County. See Dam Inventory and Dam Locations for more information.

Urban and Structural Fire


          Fire is the primary cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassing floods, automobile accidents and other disasters. Twenty times more deaths are caused by fire than by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes combined.


          Fires may be accidental or intentional and have the potential to cause major conflagrations, leading to secondary hazards, such as a hazardous materials incident.

Power Failure


          The loss or interruption of power can cause significant problems for the businesses and residents of Saline County. Power failure can result from another disaster (i.e. tornado, winter storm, etc) or it can occur on its own.



          With the increased international unrest, the threat of a terrorist attack is real. Saline County is vulnerable to a terrorist incident, whether it weapons related, biological, or agricultural. Additional information on terrorism is found in the Terrorism Annex.

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