Morrisville, Mo. -- Dustin Kessler, 25, is the volunteer emergency management director for the small town of Morrisville, the place where he was born and raised.
"Their mentality of, 'We've never had a tornado here before, or, 'A torando's not going to hit here,'" Kessler said.
After the deadly 2011 Joplin tornado, Kessler said he started looking for ways to keep his neighbors safe. The solution he found was a simple one.
The IRIS alert system was already available for everyone in Polk County at a cost of $2 per household. City leaders found the money to fund access to the voice and text alerts for all 388 people in their small community.
"It's a very inexpensive way to offer an extra service to our citizens," Kessler said.
Morrisville purchased a new storm siren a couple years ago, but the siren is designed to warn people who are outside. It is powered by electricity alone, so when the power goes out, it doesn't make a sound.
"It's good for the community to have that sort of backup system," said Morrisville Resident John Trew.
Trew has two small children under age three.
"Any extra warning beside the siren is helpful, because a lot of times electricity might go off," Trew said.
City leaders have not yet decided if they will fund the system again in future years.