Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

May 3, 2010

Our View: Weather warning changes address concerns

MT. VERNON — Tomorrow, residents will be hearing the monthly testing of the emergency warning system in the city.

But what makes this first Tuesday of the month different is that residents will hear a series of different sounds — including a test of the public address system. The testing is the first step toward improving notifications to all residents and those within earshot of the four warning sirens located downtown, at Summersville Grade School, on the south side of Veterans Park and at Times Square Mall.

For years, residents have complained about the long, single tone that is sounded for the duration of a thunderstorm or tornado warning. There has been no differentiation between the two types of warnings, which in many ways, has also led to a lack of diligence from residents when they hear the siren.

Not anymore. If testing goes well on Tuesday, residents will now have a five minute, one-time, alternating high-low sound for thunderstorm warnings, and a solid blast for the duration of tornado warnings.

Our thanks to the city for coming up with a solution to address not only complaints, but the safety of its citizens.

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