Missouri capital looks to upgrade tornado sirens
From the Insurance Journal: Officials in Missouri’s capital city are looking to improve its aging storm warning system, after a deadly tornado hit the state’s southwest.
Jefferson City’s current budget allots $15,000 to maintain the warning system. Police Capt. Bob Cynova said that money has gone almost exclusively to replacing damaged parts for failing sirens, which he said are becoming more difficult to obtain as the system gets older. Most sirens are between 30 and 45 years old.
The city plans to look in to two new warning options. One could replace the old rotary sirens with newer digital sirens capable of broadcasting numerous sounds with a clearer signal that covers twice the area. The digital system also allows a voice message to be broadcast, and it self-diagnoses problems through a computer — potentially eliminating the need for monthly tests of the sirens.
Another option would be to subscribe to a phone alert system to warn people of severe weather through text messages or phone calls. City officials say the phone system would not replace the sirens, but would be a supplement to them.