Counties across Indiana test tornado sirens ahead of storm season

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Where were you at 10:15 Tuesday morning? You should’ve heard tornado sirens in your area. Although it was just a drill, that siren is a life-saving reminder.

“This was the first time of the season to actually rotate the sirens and sound them,” said Shane Booker, Executive Director of Emergency Management for Hamilton County.

To mark severe weather preparedness week, counties sounded tornado sirens. Emergency management agencies in Marion, Hamilton and Boone counties reported slight issues, like low batteries, or the need to retest.

Booker says this allows crew to fix issues, before it’s too late. He also adds this is an important reminder.

“We are always doing communication tests with them,” said Booker. “So, we know we have two-way communication with the sirens. The sirens can tell us if the power has gone out, if the batteries are getting low, if there’s a communications failure.”

Booker says never rely just on a tornado siren. Everyone should have a weather radio at home and apps on your phone that provide a real-time warning.

“The best thing people can do in their homes is not rely on the sirens, but actually purchase a weather radio,” said Booker. “That will not only alert them to severe weather, but in the event, there was any other sort of emergency like a shelter in place, those types of things.”

If you believe a siren isn’t working properly in your area, contact your local EMA. Tuesday’s 10:15 alert wasn’t just a one-time thing. Booker adds families should also practice drills at home.

“Go through and take time to do a drill tonight. Just to ensure you know what to do and the kids know what to do in the event there’s severe weather and that way it makes everyone a little more comfortable in the event something actually does happen,” said Booker.

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