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  • Todd Yakoubian

Many Tornado Warning Sirens In Arkansas Are Outdated.


Drew county is in the process of considering the future existence of outdoor tornado sirens.


This is a cause I have been trying to shine a light on for more than a decade. These systems are ONLY intended to warn if you are outdoors. NEVER rely on them if you are inside and never rely on them as your primary source for tornado sirens.


Here is my testimony a few years ago to members of the state legislature.


In my opinion, there are only 2 ways to go. Local governments should either get rid of them entirely or upgrade to an automated system. It's very costly to maintain these systems and they are subject to false alarms. There have been several instances in my neighborhood alone when these go off due to a malfunction.


Too often these sirens are set off by false reports of tornadoes to local 911 call centers. In these cases, the operator is left with the decision to activate the sirens with no warning in place or live with the possibility they could have done something to save a life. You can't blame them for their decisions.


Many local governments across the country have automated the siren system. They sound automatically when an official tornado warning is issued for the area. However, this costs a lot of money and not every county/city can afford.


It all goes back to having 2 sources for warnings. You need to have the KATV weather app with notifications set up properly. The sound must be loud enough to wake you up in the middle of the night. Also, I recommend a NOAA weather radio with a battery backup.


All warning systems can fail, but having at least 2 ways to receive warnings help keep that to the lowest chance possible. And once again, NEVER RELY ON OUTDOOR WARNING SYSTEMS!


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