July 21, 2024

Get ready for spring weather, storm sirens

Spring is here. Unfortunately, spring brings with it weather concerns like all the other seasons.

We have all seen significant severe thunder storms or even tornadoes that have blown up in a very short time and caused tremendous amounts of destruction and even death.

One thing that constantly confuses people is the difference between or the interchangeability of the words “watch” or a “warning” as they relate to either a thunder storm or a tornado. They do not mean the same thing and the misuse or interchangeability of the words may lead to unnecessary damage or injury.

When a severe thunder storm watch or a tornado watch has been issued it only means that the conditions are favorable for a storm or tornado to form. It does not mean that they have formed or have been seen.

A warning on the other hand means that a storm or tornado has been spotted, actually exists and whatever is in its path is in emanate danger. Appropriate precautions should be taken immediately.

So, when then do the tornado sirens blow in Osceola? What do they sound like?

By policy whenever the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning that is inclusive of the city of Osceola and the city is in the path of a tornado, the tornado sirens will be activated.

Additionally, whenever a severe weather is active around Clarke County and Osceola, spotters from local fire departments, the sheriff’s office and Osceola Police Department are called out to monitor weather situations.

If any trained spotters observe a tornado the sirens will be activated if the tornado is headed toward Osceola. The sirens are only activated in case of a tornado. They will not sound to warn of a severe thunderstorm.

When the sirens are set-off to alert the public of imminent danger, the sound they make is one long continuous blast which lasts for three minutes. Additional resources the police department uses is our free Nixle notification system and our Facebook page.

Nixle is a secure site based on your subscription. You can choose alerts to be sent to your cell phone in the form of a text message, email account or both. The department cannot see who the subscribers are or any information about them. Best part is that it is a FREE service.

Finally, the city of Osceola will participate in the statewide severe weather drill on Wednesday, March 23, at 10 a.m.

The drill will culminate with the sirens being sounded between 10 a.m, and 10:30 a.m. In case of inclement weather the test will be on Thursday, March 24. Beginning Thursday, April 7, at 9 a.m., the city will begin its weekly testing of the tornado sirens.

If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact me at the police department.