Sirens: Only a drill


Ohio conducted a statewide tornado drill of its Emergency Alert System sirens Tuesday just before 10 a.m.

Sandy Mackey, Delaware County Emergency Management Agency public information officer, said Delaware County participated in the drill and that “the results were very good as all the sirens sounded.” She also emphasized the sirens are an outdoor warning system and aren’t meant to be heard indoors.

“They are for people who are out camping, fishing, gardening or who work outdoors. Not everybody is going to hear them and they are only a part of the alert system,” Mackey said. “I can’t say enough good things about weather radios.”

The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness and Gov. John Kasich proclaimed March 19-25 as Severe Weather Awareness Week.

According to the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website, “The sirens are designed as an outdoor warning system and may not always be audible in densely populated areas or indoors. The siren systems are activated locally and are designed to alert area residents of threatening conditions. On flat terrain with no wind, most sirens can be heard up to one mile away over normal background noise.”

Sean Miller, director of Delaware County EMA, recently told county commissioners there are 15 sirens within Delaware County EMA control, plus one in Ostrander that is activated by the fire department there.

“One of the teaching points we try to get out there is these are truly outdoor warning sirens,” Miller said.

Miller said with current technology, warning systems have changed greatly. As an example, cell phones now receive tornado alerts.

Delaware County offers DELCO ALERTS for anyone wishing to receive emergency notifications from Delaware County, including severe weather alerts. To sign-up, visit and click on DELCO ALERTS.

Questions regarding weather safety, where to shelter, receiving emergency communications and preparedness should be directed to Delaware County Emergency Management at 740-833-2180.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

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