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Best idea I've heard in a long time
May 18, 2011 - Linda Lobeck
One of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time was at an Iron Mountain City Council meeting when a former fireman talked to the council about sounding the siren at the fire department in an emergency to warn residents. The suggestion came following a lot of tornadoes in the midwest including in Wisconsin.
Everyone agreed that it was a good idea, but it seems that nothing’s moved forward. City officials acknowledged that there would have to be some type of notification from the Office of Emergency Preparedness at the county so that the firemen at the city would know when to sound the alarm. The Daily News recently had a tornado drill in the building to bring everyone up-to-speed on where they need to go in case of a tornado. And we are all hoping that all residents will get some type of advance notice so that they can warn their neighbors, especially the elderly, of an impending emergency.
When I was growing up in Gladstone, it was unheard of that an actual tornado would actually touch down in town due to the bluffs nearby. But even in that area with all the homebuilding that has occurred in the lake bluff area, they trees are no long there to shield that area from a tornado. And many people can remember back to September 2002 when a tornado ripped through the Iron Mountain-Kingsford-Quinnesec area.
Ironically I was at a Iron Mountain City Council meeting that night and the lights went out. The meeting continued for a short time with just the emergency lights on in the council chambers. We were all unaware of what was going on outside and I foolishly drove home to Kingsford. I realized that something major happened when I had to choose different streets to go down to get home because many were blocked by fallen and uprooted trees.
Upon getting home, my family was unaware of what was going on — they only knew that the power had gone out. Without realizing the seriousness of what was going on, they hadn’t even gone into our basement. Other neighbors were outside looking at some of the trees that were down. Luckily no one was seriously injured in that tornado, but it may not be the same the next time.
Since the Iron Mountain Fire Department has a siren that just needs to be checked out, why not utilize this warning? We look to our county officials to get on board with this and help to coordinate an emergency alert plan to warn residents.
Like we realized in 2002, you can’t depend upon other media or alerts on your computer to warn you of a tornado. When the electricity goes out, you are without these usual means of communication including cell phones. So, let’s get going and move on this very sensible suggestion by making this tornado warning siren a reality!
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