Hancock Co. to spend $500,000 to repair tornado sirens

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – Monday marks the beginning of Severe Weather Preparedness Week. It’s the yearly reminder of what you need to do to prepare for when severe weather strikes.

In Hancock County, officials have approved a plan to repair or replace tornado sirens.

The Hancock County Council and Hancock County Board of Commissioners approved spending $500,000 on the siren project.

“[It’s] the last means of letting them know that the severe weather is actually here in our backyard,” said Misty Moore, director of Hancock County Emergency management agency.

“It’s not a first line of defense. It’s mostly for people who are outdoors at the time,” she said.

Last month tests found eight of the 26 sirens in the county weren’t working.

“It’s good for us, actually, that we’ve been talking about it so the public can know that they aren’t all working properly,” she said.

The upgrades will be paid with money used from the county’s food and beverage tax and income taxes paid for economic development.

Before severe weather hits, Moore says the most reliable tool you can have is a weather radio issued by the national weather service. Residents can also sign up for alerts on the county’s website.

Moore says the sirens are just another way of letting you know what’s coming ahead.

“We need to have multiple means of communication and notifying the public of severe weather, so we can’t just rely on the cellphones and we can’t just rely on the media alerts. A lot of people become immune to those alerts that are coming over their phones and sometimes people don’t have their cellphones on them,” she said.

Once bidding is complete, Moore says the work should be completed by the end of severe weather season.