Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

January 21, 2014

Bill would set statewide standards for storm sirens

(Continued)

One area of agreement: No one should rely on the sirens alone.

Erickson, of the state Homeland Security Department, said the outdoor warning sirens were installed in many communities during the Cold War to warn residents of a potential attack. It was only later that they were used to warn residents of impending storms.

“They should be seen as a part of a larger warning system,” Erickson said. He advises residents to rely on a variety of tools, including weather radios, and TV and radio broadcasts.

A bill passed by the House Thursday may aid that system: It designates trained TV and radio engineers and technicians as “first informers.” It allows them to travel into areas restricted by weather emergencies or disasters to repair their damaged broadcast equipment so they can get back on air.

“The goal,” said the bill author, Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City, “is to keep people safe and informed.”

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaureenHayden

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