Tuesday, March 30, 1999

Sirens not the perfect alert system

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officials say that because civil defense sirens in the Tristate do not cover the entire population, residents should pay attention to radio and television reports when the weather turns bad.

Tracking tornadoes
        Some officials also encourage residents to invest $20 to $30 in weather radios that provide alerts when severe weather threatens the area.

        “All of this (sirens) is meant to tell people to go to radio and TV and pay attention to what's going on,” said Don Maccarone, director of the Hamilton County EMA. “The general public has to participate in this process.”

        Since the tornadoes of 1974, counties have added civil defense sirens; most have coordinated plans for dealing with disasters; EMAs were set up; and public education was increased.

        While many counties had civil defense sirens, Greene County and Xenia had none. The 10 in that area today are the direct result of the tornado of 1974.

        Since the tornado, Hamilton County has greatly increased the number of sirens, from about 100 to 175.

        Here's a breakdown of civil defense sirens in the Tristate and the percentage — not necessarily geographical area — of the population covered by the sirens:

        • Hamilton County: 175 sirens cover 75 percent to 80 percent of the population.

        • Clermont County: 21 sirens cover about 30 percent of the population.

        • Warren County: 26 sirens cover 35 percent to 40 percent of the population.

        • Butler County: 33 sirens cover about 60 percent of the population.

        • Boone County: 29 sirens cover 80 percent of the population.

        • Campbell County: 16 sirens cover 40 percent to 50 percent of the population.

        • Kenton County: 13 or 14 sirens, located at various fire departments, cover about 75 percent of the population, with the exception of Covington, where there are no sirens.

        • Dearborn County: 16 sirens, with 15 to 18 more expected to be installed, which would increase coverage to about 90 percent.

'74 tornado tore Xenia's heart
More tornadoes coming?
- Sirens not the perfect alert system

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