Tornado Warning Systems: Obsolete or Critical?

Tornado sirens used to dot rooftops through Knox County, Tenn. and two dozen surrounding communities, but the local emergency management agency no longer uses the public warning system, according to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Alan Lawson, director of the Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency (KEMA), tells the paper that he doesn’t consider the technology to be the most effective means of warning. Blaring sirens are often difficult to hear indoors and unspecific as to the nature of the threat, he says.

However, other jurisdictions consider tornado warning systems crucial: Nashville installed a network of 72 sirens after a deadly tornado that swept through its downtown in 1998.

Lawson recommends that rather than relying on public sirens, residents purchase the $40 digital weather radios that KEMA supplies to public facilities such as schools and nursing homes. The radios relay warnings directly from the National Weather Service and broadcast state messages such as Amber Alerts.

To read the article, click here: