New Policy Could Change When Alert Sirens Are Activated

Published 06/18 2014 05:56PM

Updated 06/18 2014 06:33PM

June 18, 2014 - Last night’s storms that blew through the region left minor damage in some areas, but the storm was enough to prompt emergency officials to set off the storm sirens in West County.

That long, single siren blast is normally used to alert residents that a tornado warning has been issued or a tornado has been spotted. But Tuesday night, no warning had been issued but the sirens were still activated. Emergency management officials say they had reports of rotating clouds and decided to error on the side of safety.

But those sirens may be activated in more than just severe storm situations. A draft policy has been sent to all Erie County municipalities. It’s called the Public Alert Siren System or PASS. If this policy is approved, the sirens would be set off not only for bad weather but also for hazardous material spills, or flooding, or even an active shooter situation.

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