Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Outdoor Warning Sirens to Sound Less Frequently in Indianapolis

According to this article on WTHR.com, effective today, outdoor warning sirens (often referred to as "tornado sirens") will only be sounded in Marion County, Indiana (which includes the city of Indianapolis) when:  (1).  a Tornado Warning is issued or (2). a funnel cloud/tornado is reported on the ground by the NWS or a public safety officer.

This is certainly good news as it will hopefully help to cut down on the false alarm rate / "cried wolf syndrome" in the Indianapolis area.  With that said, I'd like to point out (as I have done so often on this blog) that outdoor warning sirens are called "outdoor" warning sirens for a reason - they were designed to be heard by folks that are outdoors.  If you live near one, you may be able to hear it indoors as well, but that's not what they were designed for.  

To ensure that you and your family are safe during severe weather situations at home, work or school, I strongly suggest that you purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a programmable alert mode which will sound an alarm whenever severe weather threatens your specific area.  You can even program the radio to only alert you to specific types of threats (i.e., tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods, winter storms - or all of the above).  The model that I linked to in the first sentence of this paragraph (which is available at RadioShack) even has a Skywarn spotter band that will allow you to hear severe weather reports in your area live as spotters observe the threat!

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Anonymous said...

I believe outdoor warning sirens are still used for other emergencies such as a hazardous chemical spills. In this case it IS meant for people in their homes, seeing as they would need to evacuate the area. It is someones full time job to just sit there and sound the siren if there is a risk, and by ignoring that siren you are accepting the risk without even knowing what it is. The whole crying wolf syndrome is just silly.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to point out that severe weather should ALWAYS be taken seriously. Any effort to undermine the years of work that the weather community has put into educating the public on this matter is deplorable.