Fairfield tornado warning sirens to sound Wednesday
The National Weather Service and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management have designated next week as Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state.
The weather service says understanding severe weather risks and how to respond can save lives.
Fairfield will observe the week by participating in a test of the city’s tornado warning system. Jefferson County Emergency management Coordinator Jerry Calnon said the city’s tornado sirens will sound Wednesday morning.
He wanted to remind the public that the sirens may not be heard inside homes and offices because they were primarily designed to warn those outside. Wind and other factors can reduce the volume of sound the sirens put out, making them especially hard to hear inside buildings with televisions, air conditioners or other noise, Calnon explained.
During severe weather, he said it’s important to be aware of potential danger. He recommended tuning in to a local television or radio station or listening to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio. A NOAA weather radio can often provide the earliest warning because it is often the basis for warnings from TV and radio stations, Calnon said.
In the case of a real emergency, such as a downed power line or severe weather damage, Calnon said the public shouldn’t hesitate to call 911. However, 911 shouldn’t be dialed in instances that are not legitimate emergencies, such as to ask questions about a weather warning. Dispatchers are generally busy enough during severe weather without non-essential inquiries, Calnon explained.
For the complete article, see the Friday, April 2, 2010, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.