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It's an eerie sound that some of us have heard before, an outdoor warning siren signaling there is significant risk of damage from a tornado in the area. How do these sirens work? Who's responsible for them? What purpose do they serve?
Here in Ohio, there is no statewide system for outdoor warning sirens as individual counties have different siren regulations. According to the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, Lucas County maintains a network of 121 outdoor warning sirens that are activated by Lucas County Sheriffs. A 911 dispatcher will activate sirens across the county when an outdoor warning siren is confirmed by either the National Weather Service or a report from public safety officers themselves.
In Lucas County, when an outdoor warning siren is confirmed, the siren will sound with a steady tone for a full three minutes. This tone may sound different from other tones you may have heard.
Upon hearing the siren for a tornado warning, residents should immediately seek shelter and tune into a local TV/Radio broadcaster for specific information related to the siren.
Here are links to information on sirens for other counties:
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