Weather alert radios more effective than tornado sirens

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HOWARD COUTY, Ind. -- Emergency officials in Howard County are encouraging people to get weather alert radios.

The county only has a few tornado sirens. They're designed to alert people who are outdoors. The reason cities in Howard County like Kokomo aren't jumping at the chance to buy, install, and maintain tornado sirens isn't just because of the high cost. Mayor Greg Goodnight says it's because tornado sirens don't always work.

“It gives people a safety net that’s not really there. It puts them in a false sense of security," Goodnight said.

Each year, the county hands out weather alert radios at a discounted price. The average cost at local stores is about $30.

The Weather Authority agrees, weather alert radios are proven to be successful. The devices can be set for your own county and tailored to what alerts you want to receive. They are also loud enough to wake you up in the middle of the night.

“Our biggest concern, is these type of storms come through late at night, if people will receive adequate warning," said Howard County EMA Public Information Officer, Marshall Talbert.

Talbert said the county has extra crews on standby and weather spotters to alert emergency officials for any sign of severe weather. Howard County also has an alert system where you can sign up to receive text and e-mail notifications.