What you don’t want to hear

Last Friday’s severe weather outbreak involved more than just a few near misses.  It provided a rather disconcerting experience each time the civil defense sirens began bellowing their terrible sound into an atmosphere already churning with nature’s fury.

So here’s a brief taste of the first sounding of the alarm.  It came with no notice.  In fact, hearing the wailing cry carried on the air was the first indication I had that something was amiss.

From there, it went downhill.  And they sounded again and again with each new indication of atmospheric treachery.

2 thoughts on “What you don’t want to hear”

  1. I remember living in the Mid Cities and hearing the weekly tests for 6 years. Here in Florida there is no warning system, and after the tornado hit the Lady Lakes area and caused such devastation, a lot of people called for such a system. The local governments have denigrated the usefulness of a siren system, saying people would not hear it or would ignore it. So their solution was warning emails, or text messages to phones.

    Now it’s amazing to me, but a LOT of people still don’t have cell phones or computers at home. I guess these people are expendable.

    Since you live in an area with a warning system, and have seen it in use, what do you think Jason? Is it worth the money my state fears to spend?

  2. Absolutely. The civil defense alarm system offers more than just tornado warnings, but in that much here in North Texas they are invaluable. People know what they mean when the weather turns nasty. They know when they sound to tune in to local news so they can find out what’s happening.

    In fact, the only complaint people have about them here is that sounding them for tornado warnings sometimes comes too late for people to act. As science gets better, the alarms will be more timely, and NOAA is better about issuing warnings based on Doppler radar instead of always waiting for spotter confirmation.

    Florida is being foolish, and in so doing the state bureaucracy is betting on the lives of the citizenry. All one needs do is look at the Virginia Tech disaster to see how well e-mail warnings work (that’s all the school offered throughout the recent massacre there). Florida needs to take note and put something in place that covers all denizens and not just those with the means to be connected.

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