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Central Texas experts share the purpose of warning sirens and the role they play

As severe weather continues to come through the Central Texas community, local experts shared with 25 News the importance of warning signs, and how they should be used.
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jun 04, 2024

CENTRAL TEXAS (KXXV) — “Redundancy after redundancy — emergency management. The name of the game is redundancy,” said City of McGregor Emergency Management Coordinator, Van Smith.

As the Central Texas community continues to be faced with severe weather, local experts shared with 25 News the importance of safety sirens.

McGregor Emergency Management Coordinator Van Smith says the purpose is to primarily warn those participating in outdoor activities.

"We have multiple sirens — if one doesn’t sound, it goes over into the next sector, so you’ll be able to hear one all over town,” Smith said.

The city of McGregor tests their sirens on the at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of each month, for weather-related emergencies.

25 News Chief Meteorologist Matt Hines says these sirens are used for more than tornado warnings.

"It can be really large hail, it can be damaging winds going 70 to 80 miles per hour — each city has a different criteria that they set them off for," Hines said.

Although sirens serve a great purpose in local neighborhoods, Hines says they shouldn’t be the only source for finding out about severe situations.

"It’s 2024 and not 1984 — I think with all the phone information that we have like television, internet — I think there are many ways you can get information," he said.

"If you choose to stick your head in the sand and not know what’s coming your way, I think that’s more on you than anyone else."

Having multiple sources to get information, is something Hines says can help save lives in the community.

“Outdoor warning sirens are a piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the complete puzzle," he said.

"You have to put all the technology we have together, and I think that’s what makes it an effective warning tool."