If you're like me, you rarely pay attention to intercom messages that occasionally come across store speakers. However, if you're in a Missouri store and hear 'code black', you need to get away from the front windows immediately.

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I saw this question asked on Quora about the meaning of store codes that are broadcast over intercoms. I've been in what seems like a million discount stores in Missouri in my lifetime and I tend to not pay close attention as most seem directed toward store personnel. It's worth knowing that there are some that could be directed at you.

What does in mean if you're in a store in Missouri and you suddenly hear a color code?

One of the answers on Quora is spot on for standard store warning codes. A guy named Neil said:

  • Code Adam - Missing/Lost Child.
  • Code White - Accident
  • Code Red - Fire
  • Code Blue - Bomb
  • Code Green - Hostage Crisis
  • Code Yellow - Non-chemical spill
  • Code Orange - Chemical/Hazardous Material Spill

But, what does "Code Black" mean and why should you get away from windows?

Code Black is a message to alert Missouri store customers about an imminent severe weather threat like a tornado approaching the store which was confirmed by the website Mashed.

It's crucial to get as far away from the front large glass panes as shattering glass from debris is one of the most common ways to suffer serious injuries when in a big box store.

It's also important to emphasize that you should listen to what the store is directing you to do. In the event of a tornado, running out the front door could be much worse than sheltering in place. Some Missouri stores might also have a more secure area like dressing or rest rooms where they might direct you to for more walls between you and the severe weather threat. This is first-person video from Joplin, Missouri tornado survivors who sheltered in a freezer during the tragic event in 2011.

While these codes are standard, some stores may not use them or have their own emergency procedures. But, it's good to remember the standard ones so you can respond quickly and safely.

75 Years Ago, Monster Tornado Destroys 80% of Small Illinois Town

Gallery Credit: Ancient Air Theatre via YouTube

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