State News

Cape Fear preferences tech alert systems over tornado sirens

Posted April 18

— Although North Carolina ranks in the top 10 of states for deadly night-time tornadoes, no county in the Cape Fear region has ever had tornado sirens.

The Fayetteville Observer reports (http://bit.ly/2pwJYQ2) that emergency management experts say siren systems are designed to alert people outdoors, but most people now spend their time indoors, where they're insulated from the noise.

Cumberland County Emergency Management Coordinator Gene Booth says there are more practical ways to get warnings out, including CodeRED, a free, high-speed service that pushes notifications to cellphones.

Emergency management officials in the region have no plans to construct siren systems, deeming the method inefficient and expensive. Each siren has a 1-mile radius and would cost more than $30,000.

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The previous story has been corrected to add the word "night-time" in first sentence.

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