4 new storm sirens installed throughout county
One week ago, the installation of four new outdoor storm sirens began in Saline County. The sirens are located in Miami, Gilliam, Slater and Sweet Springs.
Saline County Emergency Management Director Tony Day said they will all be tested with other storm sirens on the first Wednesday of the month, June 5, with the exception of the new siren in Sweet Springs.
“(That siren) had not been installed, because of flooding in the park. It’s not completed. The other three are basically complete, or should be today,” Day said Thursday, May 30.
The sirens were installed on Thursday, May 23 —the day after a severe storm system moved across the Central U.S. and several county residents reported seeing funnel clouds near Marshall and Slater. That storm system killed three people in Golden City, Mo., and a tornado ripped through Jefferson City.
These additional storm sirens were paid for through a special fund of the Emergency Management department.
“All the cities in Saline County can contribute to a voluntary Assessment Per Population fund,” Day said. “This gives Emergency Management discretionary money to mitigate the seriousness of emergency situations. … We’re working to make the public safe.”
According to Day, those funds build up over time, and over the course of several years it could allow the department to plan for larger projects. Currently, Day is hoping to acquire more sirens and AEDs. He said he also envisions having a radio tower constructed in the future.
“Some smaller towns on the edge of the county have difficulty with radio traffic for emergency services,” Day explained.
As for the new outdoor sirens, the one installed in Miami has had difficulty with radio frequency. Day said that problem should be resolved today.
Storm sirens are intended to be warnings for people outdoors. It is a bonus for residents who are indoors and hear them; however, Day said the best warning system for someone inside is a weather radio. Saline County residents can also subscribe for free to the Rave Alert system. To do so, visit www.salinecountyema.com and click on the “Rave” tab, or go to www.salinecountymo.org, and clicking on the “Emergency Management” tab. By signing up, residents will receive timely and actionable emergency alerts via email, text or voice message.