Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

January 21, 2014

Bill would set statewide standards for storm sirens

(Continued)

But there was a catch: It only applied if counties agreed to provide the information and accept the department’s help. Not a single county has ever opted in.

John Erickson, Homeland Security spokesman, said the state can’t force counties to follow a uniform siren protocol nor demand that they install them. Nor can the department compel counties to provide information on their existing warning systems.

“They’re totally under local control,” Erickson said. “We don’t own them and we don’t maintain them. Counties have that responsibility.”

No state has a uniform standard method for sounding those public siren systems, nor is there a nationally accepted protocol for issuing the all-clear alerts.

But federal safety experts want that to change. In November, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institutes of Standards and Technology issued a report calling for nationwide standards for weather-emergency notifications, including outdoor sirens.

“Across the country, there is no standard method for sounding outdoor public siren systems, which has led to variations in siren usage, activation procedures, and sounding patterns among U.S. communities,” the report authors found.

That finding was based on the agency’s investigation of the deadly May 22, 2011 tornado that tore through Joplin, Mo., claiming 163 lives. The high death toll was blamed in part on flaws in the warning-siren system. There were reports that some people ignored the sirens, didn’t hear them, or were confused by an all-clear siren triggered just before the tornado hit.

But developing a protocol for when a siren should be sounded may not be easy, since there’s disagreement even among experts.

Dan McCarthy, the National Weather Service chief meteorologist in Indianapolis, said the NWS doesn’t have a policy on when local officials should sound their weather sirens.

“We all have our own personal opinions about it,” McCarthy said. “But it’s up local communities to make those decisions.”

Text Only
State News
  • nws - bv071814 - Hogsett, Joe What is Hogsett's next move? Political speculation abounds after Joe Hogsett’s announcement Monday, July 14, that he’ll resign his U.S. attorney’s position at the end of the month.Hogsett issued a public statement after first informing his boss, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Secular celebrants may perform marriages

    Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that the exclusion of certified secular humanist celebrants from the list of people who can solemnize marriages in Indiana was unconstitutional.

    July 14, 2014

  • Indiana's same-sex marriage ban struck down

    June 25, 2014

  • Indiana producers help with biofuels initiative Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Doug O'Brien recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making nearly $60 million in payments to 195 producers to support the production of advanced biofuel. Seven Indiana producers received these

    May 9, 2014

  • $400 million will be spent on Hoosier highways Gov. Mike Pence directed the Indiana State Budget Agency to recently release funding for the Major Moves 2020 highway construction program. "Roads mean jobs, and Major Moves 2020 will improve Indiana's transportation infrastructure to enhance our po

    May 2, 2014

  • Changes could ease some penalties INDIANAPOLIS - Patrons of the B-52 Pik-Up convenience store and tackle shop near the popular state-owned Brookville Lake may welcome news that tough penalties for violating some outdoor recreation rules are going away. Some crimes - such as sounding

    April 22, 2014

  • Each day of Public Health Week has a focus

    April 7 kicks off the 19th annual observance of National Public Health Week in America.

    April 7, 2014

  • Trash Bash poised to start Mother Nature has been relentless this winter and snow is finally beginning to melt. That means it's time to begin spring cleaning of Hoosier highways and byways. The Indiana Department of Transportation's annual Trash Bash is slated from April 5-27

    April 1, 2014

  • Home renters need to avoid scams A rental scam utilizing Craigslist has reared its ugly head once again in central Indiana and Indiana State Police warn citizens to be mindful of their dealings. On Feb. 21, a Plainfield resident answered a Craigslist posting for a rental home in Nob

    March 25, 2014

  • Changed wording delays debate on right to hunt, fish INDIANAPOLIS - A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn't the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off this November's ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers' right to hunt and fish. Backers of th

    March 18, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook