Warning Sirens Ready For Spring Storms

Emergency managers say they're ready for the chance of severe weather on Wednesday in North Texas.

That readiness includes some last minute checks on the outdoor warning sirens throughout the city.

New batteries were installed at Siren 14 on West Bonds Ranch Road in far north Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon.

There was no siren test performed, but nearby residents were glad to know it'll be ready if there's an emergency or for the next test.

"It's a good time to teach the kids what to do in case of a tornado and we normally keep our TV on and teach them the safe spots in the house," said Destiny Anderson.

Two of the city's 149 sirens are currently offline due to significant repairs that are needed. The outdoor warning sirens are intended to get people inside and to get information. But there are other ways of being informed, including the Nixle system where you can sign-up for text and e-mail alerts.

"The best way of receiving the initial warning is still with the outdoor warning sirens, but to find out more detailed information, you need to be connected," said Juan Ortiz, with the city office of emergency management.

The text warnings don't just inform residents of what's on the weather horizon or of another disaster or emergency, but also if there's a problem with the siren system.
Six months ago several sirens malfunctioned and sounded when they weren't set to go off.

"We don't expect to have those problems again," Ortiz said.

But, he added, water damage, wind damage and lightning can cause malfunctions. So, whether it's a false alarm or something real, Ortiz says it's best to sign-up, be informed and stay prepared.

"It just takes one storm to really cause a lot of damage," he said.

The outdoor warning sirens will sound for large hail, winds stronger than 60 miles an hour or a spotted tornado.

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