Emergency mgmt. test new tornado sirens before severe weather - WKRN News 2

Emergency mgmt. test new tornado sirens before severe weather

Posted: Updated: April 10, 2013 09:20 PM

Emergency management officials have been testing and re-testing newly installed tornado sirens to make sure they will activate should severe weather produce tornados in Davidson County, Thursday.

Davidson County began a $2 million expansion and upgrade to its tornado siren system in February.

The county added 20 tornado sirens to its 73 existing tornado sirens. The expansion also upgrades the existing tornado sirens.

The project is expected to be finished by the end of April.

"The new system we are excited about because it gives us a different sound," Metro Nashville Fire Department District Chief Charles Shannon Sr. said. "I think when people hear this sound it sounds like something I should really be aware of."

The previous sirens sounded more like a tone.

The sirens are activated by the Office of Emergency Management when a tornado warning is issued for the area.

Some of the new sirens were activated during a severe weather outbreak last month and worked as expected.

The sirens are tested internally twice a day, once at 7:00 am and again at 7:00 PM. They are also sounded on the first Saturday of each month at noon as along as the sky is clear.

Additionally, OEM conducted an additional silent test Thursday afternoon to insure sirens installed since the last severe weather outbreak in March are functioning properly.

"It will save lives," Dist. Chief Shannon said. "Since we have had sirens in Davidson County we have not had a loss of life due to a tornado."

The new tornado sirens were added to areas with high population density and with a high outdoor population.

Many of the 20 new sirens were placed at Metro Nashville schools.

Wayne and Cheryl Lindsey have a new tornado siren near their home in Anitoch. They had not noticed the siren.

"Anything that helps you know in the middle of the night to wake up is good," Cheryl Lindsey said. "I sleep lightly anyway but that would help me know to wake up and get in my closet."

Wayne agreed, "I have heard one from time to time, but it was during the day time and we were watching TV and knew weather was coming."

Davidson County has a total of 93 tornado sirens.

All 20 new sirens are in place and operational.

There are 16 tornado sirens that still need to be upgraded.

The office of emergency management has a map that shows the location of all the county's tornado sirens here on its Web site.

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