Heed the sirens, stay safeIt can be one of the most terrifying sounds of the summer. The wail of the sirens indicating a severe weather warning has been issued is hard to miss. For 3 minutes the sirens scream to alert you that a hazardous weather condition exists and you should take steps to protect yourself and your family from harm.
It can be one of the most terrifying sounds of the summer.
The wail of the sirens indicating a severe weather warning has been issued is hard to miss. For 3 minutes the sirens scream to alert you that a hazardous weather condition exists and you should take steps to protect yourself and your family from harm.
The sirens and weather warnings broadcast on local radio and television are just the last step in the notification process. This process starts with weather satellites and radar images tracking the storm system and meteorologists assessing the information and determining the level of the threat.
From there the information is transmitted to local broadcast centers, the Internet and to the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center where the sirens are activated.
All these processes work very well.
But the technology and human effort of issuing storm warnings and notifying the public are wasted unless the person hearing that siren takes appropriate action. The weakest link in the severe weather alert system is often the person who hears the warning or siren and doesn’t take the proper precautions.
At about 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday a severe summer weather awareness drill will be conducted. It is a chance for the National Weather Service, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and local authorities to test the systems in place to warn the public of hazardous weather.
It is also a chance for individuals to review the procedures they would follow in the event of a tornado or other severe summer storm.
Businesses should review their plans for sheltering employees during storms.
Families should review with their children where to go during a storm and how to get in touch with family members away from home after the storm has passed.
Residents with cellphones can receive warnings directly through their phone by signing up for mobile alerts at www.jamestownsun.com.
Government agencies at the federal, state and local level are working together to deliver weather alert information. Properly using the information is an individual responsibility that saves lives.
(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)