Warning systems different across communities

GREENE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – They stand like sentinels keeping watch over the area, but 2 NEWS found no one group is watching to make sure the weather warning sirens are used the same way in each community.

“Each community’s going to have its own policies and procedures on how they set their sirens off,” says Greene County Central Dispatch’s Mindy Lane.

Buried within the bowels of the Xenia City Building is the system that Greene County uses to warn residents who are outside during a storm. With the punch of a few buttons, all the sirens controlled by the county will sound.

“We set our sirens off based on the National Weather Service warning when they give their tornado warnings,” Lane says.

That’s what most communities say they use as a criteria to sound their sirens, but each can use its own discretion and some communities have decided not to have sirens at all.

“Technology has changed,” says Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth. “Accessibility to our residents is a lot easier now.”

Huber Heights doesn’t have tornado sirens.  Instead, it encourages residents to sign up for its Code Red alerts.

When the National Weather Service issues a warning they are instantly sent out. The alerts can go to your home phone, cell phone and soon your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“I think it’s more advanced,” Ashworth says.

We wanted to know if the city feels the alerts are enough or if sirens are needed.

“I think residents are very well protected,” Ashworth says.

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