Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Outdoor Warning Siren Policy Update

Not much blogging lately and I'm sorry.  Here's my excuse and I hope you understand.  Shortly after the last round of severe weather, about two weeks ago, I came down with a bad case of strep throat.  While antibiotics got rid of it, I had a tremendous amount of fatigue following the worst of it.

My youngest son, Preston, will be entering Pre-K in August.  It's so hard to believe.  Because of my work schedule and my wife's, I have what's called "Daddy Daycare" a couple days a week.  All that comes to an end in August when both boys are in school 5 days a week.  I'll miss Daddy Daycare, but I won't, If you know what I mean.  Anyway, I have been trying to spend as much time as possible with Preston as these days alone with him are numbered.  A meteorologist I know and really respect once said, "You can always make more money, but you can never make more time". 

Wednesday morning I had the opportunity to attend the "Greater Arkansas Integrated Warning Team" meeting.  The goal of this group is to provide consistent messaging of hazardous weather information to you.  It involves all the local media, the National Weather Service, AHTD, ADEM, EMs, and a few other groups.

One of the topics was about outdoor tornado sirens and you probably know where I stand on that issue.  It presents problems that really need to be addressed.  Many are and want to, but it's a very costly system to fix.  As I always say, NEVER rely on outdoor sirens for your warnings.  They are not intended to warn you indoors.  If you ever hear the sirens, the best thing to do is turn on TV and find out what's going on, but you should ALWAYS have either a NOAA weather radio or WeatherCall 7 to receive warnings.

Almost 10 years ago, I sent out a mass email to all the EM's around the state asking for their tornado siren policy.  The National Weather Service recently asked as well and since it's much more up to date, I want to share their results with you.  Thanks to those meteorologists at the NWS office in North Little Rock for their work and allowing me to publish it here.

If your community is not listed here, ask your local leaders.

Here's what was asked.  "If your jurisdiction has Outdoor Warning Sirens (OWS), please list your criteria for activating those sirens.  Please select the option that best reflects your local OWS capabilities below.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Faulkner County says they have no OWS, but test sirens each Wednesday at noon. What's up with that?

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