There are backups for sirens

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Being alerted to an emergency is the best way to avoid injury.

Today, we have several outlets to stay up to date to potentially dangerous situations.

If a hurricane is going to hit the Gulf Coast, we typically have up to a week to plan ahead due to several advancements in today’s weather prediction and forecast technology. Most of the time, we know the final path of that storm days out, giving us plenty of time to evacuate or get the house ready before damaging winds and rains come ashore.

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The same can’t be said for tornadoes. But our weather prediction technology is giving us a few more minutes to decide if we need to find a place to lay low, or if we will be safe where we are.

One of those tools includes the emergency sirens installed across the county in key locations. While everyone within Pearl River County won’t hear the sirens when a storm has the potential to create a tornado, every teacher and student within our schools will. That’s why the sirens were installed at school campuses in all three school districts.

The general public gets the added benefit of being able to hear them if they are outside or live close enough to one. But we shouldn’t depend on those sirens to be the only system to alert us to impending danger.

Fortunately there is at least one backup system in place most of us have access to. Cellphones are equipped with an alert notification system. When activated, it prompts your device to make a noise we’ve all become accustomed to, if not find a bit annoying.

The problem, and the advantage, of the cellphone system is that you can turn it off. The method by which to deactivate and activate this system varies by the device and operating system, but a quick search online should provide you with the information you need to ensure your phone can keep you abreast of dangerous weather patterns, and other emergency situations.