Chilton County EMA examining effectiveness of tornado sirens

CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Chilton County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is taking a close look at the effectiveness of its tornado sirens. They’re asking residents for their help.

Chilton County isn’t the first county to consider other severe weather options. Several other counties have eliminated some or all of their outdoor tornado sirens.

Many of the systems are very old and are expensive to maintain. The Chilton County EMA director wants to find out if residents even depend on them for warnings.

Earlier Thursday morning, Chilton County EMA tweeted out a link to a survey that asks residents if they depend on weather sirens or not, and if they can even hear them from their homes.

So far, the response has been mixed, but it seems the people who saw the link on Twitter likely aren’t the ones who depend on outdoor warning sirens.

EMA Director Derrick Wright says he’s aware of the issue.

“Not everybody’s gonna be on [Twitter], so we’re trying to push it out via email, couple groups we have with the fire department’s Twitter, Facebook, and we did ask for anyone in your household, that way if their parents, grandparents, even someone they may know that relies on sirens, they can push ‘Yes’ and give us a little bit better accuracy,” said Wright.

He says the county is in the process of building tornado shelters in every fire station. Those shelters will be open during tornado warnings.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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