Storm Siren’s About To Receive Fresh Look

Lightning flashes across the Mahaska Sky in 2013.

Lightning flashes across the Mahaska Sky in 2013.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The skies darken and that familiar sound breaks the distant thunder, the storm siren warns us to seek shelter.

Those sirens are tested on a regular basis in Oskaloosa, but how many of its residents are able to be alerted when they are activated? How are other Mahaska County communities alerted by their siren, if their town even has one? “If we look at some of our communities in Mahaska County, the incorporated cities, some of them don’t have storm sirens. Some that do, we don’t know the exact coverage area that they have,” Robinson explained.

The Mahaska County Emergency Management Commission has authorized the Mahaska County Emergency Manager Jamey Robinson to further evaluate those safety resources. “If we look at Oskaloosa, they have done some annexing over the years,” Robinson said. He pointed towards rural portions of the county, now within city limits. “We just want to make sure the siren coverage is there.”

Emergency Management will be working with Dickinson Inc of Oskaloosa, “to put together a siren survey”. This will help further define what is available for the city, and what adjustment may be needed. Dickinson Inc will be providing the service to the community free of charge. Dickinson does siren work by trade, and helps to maintain Oskaloosa’s current siren system.

Robinson will be approaching local communities about their sirens, policy, and if they don’t have a siren, what their plans are to help keep their citizens informed of potential danger. Robinson will work with the city councils, of each small community,  on each of their needs and what they may want to do in providing siren coverage for their communities.

Mahaska County Emergency Management doesn’t control when sirens are to be sounded in the event of dangerous weather, but Robinson said that he and the Emergency Management Commission would like to see a standardized warning protocol. This would help people visiting other communities in the county be familiar and ready to respond when they hear a storm siren.

Robinson encourages all Mahaska County residents to sign up to NIXLE – https://mahaskaready.com/Nixle.html . The system sends alerts to your mobile phone via text message, helping alert you to potential danger.

Visit Mahaska County Emergency Management website for more information and severe weather information. - https://mahaskaready.com/Home_Page.php

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