Tornado sirens, also known as outdoor warning systems, are designed for one purpose: to alert people who are outdoors of potential tornadoes. They are not intended, nor designed, to alert people in houses, businesses or vehicles of possible tornadoes. Most outdoor warning systems in place in Colorado today are remnants of the old civil defense siren system.
Outdoor warning systems are expensive. Based on the model that says one siren covers 1 mile, the Town would need a minimum of 33 sirens at a cost of about $35,000 each, or $1.16 million. That amount does not include annual maintenance and fees.
To be prepared in the event of tornadic activity, the Town recommends that each homeowner and business purchase a NOAA weather radio. A good radio costs $25 and $50 and can be purchased at local stores. Some are even portable. These radios will alert you to any severe weather, not just tornadoes.
Residents also can register with a number of free services on the Internet to have severe weather alerts sent to their mobile devices. Residents are also encouraged to monitor local media for information on severe weather. These steps will ensure that you get notified of severe weather whether you are at home, work or outdoors.
Preparedness begins with the individual, and these are two easy steps to be more prepared.