Sirens and radio can help keep you safe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sirens and radio can help keep you safe

Albany -- Warning sirens are in place in Dougherty County to let people know if severe weather is coming, but many other south Georgia counties can't afford siren systems.

Some public safety officials don't think the systems are the most cost effective way to warn the most people.

Emergency managers in Albany say sirens and weather radios together are the best way to keep us safe.

Fourteen emergency alert sirens are scattered throughout Dougherty County. They sound off when tornadoes or severe storms are headed our way. But Emergency Management Agency deputy director Jim Vaught says people should have a backup.

"That would be a NOAA weather radio. It's designed to go off for dangerous weather within your neighborhood. It's very loud. It will wake you up, and it gives you that backup system together with the siren system to make a safer community," said EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught.

A safety precaution since it lets people know beforehand whether they need to find a safe haven when weather strikes.

You can get your own personal NOAA weather radio at many area stores including Harveys, who partners with WALB News Ten for a special. It's a $29.95 investment that may save your life.

A manager at Harvey's Grocery Store says they've seen a huge increase in weather radio sales after the tornadoes that struck our area. Leaving death in it's path, businesses, homes, even a hospital destroyed.

Even though some criticize the effectiveness of outdoor emergency alert sirens, Dougherty County officials believe it's a sure shot for safety.

"Our overall goal is to have the people of our community safe, and our property also safe from damage, provide systems like the tower system, the siren system to notify our people when it's time to seek safe shelter," said Vaught.

Officials say sirens along with a weather radios warn people of severe weather. Both working together for one goal, your safety.

The sirens in Dougherty County and Albany are tested monthly and monitored daily to make sure they'll sound off when the time comes.