Independence County Plans to Augment Tornado Sirens with Phones - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Batesville, AR

Independence County Plans to Augment Tornado Sirens with Phones

APRIL 12, 2006 - Posted at 8:03 a.m. CST


BATESVILLE, AR - What sirens might not be able to do, Independence County officials hope can be accomplished with some neighborliness.  The county has 24 sirens spaced around the countryside that are sounded when residents need to be warned about heavy weather.

But there are a couple of problems with the sirens.  Glen Willis, coordinator of the Independence County Office of Emergency Management, says sometimes they simply don't work.  And County Judge Bill Hicks said society has changed.  Hicks said the theory was when the sirens were bought that people were still sitting on their porches.  He said that's not true anymore, and with houses better insulated and air conditioning running, sometimes people just can't hear the sirens go off.

So Willis has put together a "Call Partnership" program within the county, with help from a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.  The idea is simple, in exchange for receiving a county-owned weather-alert radio, a resident agrees to call a certain number of neighbors to alert them when the radio sounds an alert.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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