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New tornado sirens, activation system installed in Nashville

tornado sirens
Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 23:26:28-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville’s Emergency Management director spoke with NewsChannel 5 about how city officials are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic while rolling out additional tornado sirens and a new activation system during the peak months of severe weather.

The Office of Emergency Management is installing 20 new sirens — particularly in parts of town where currently, people outside can’t hear them.

"We are hoping by the end of May we will have them up, but there’s a lot of variance here because of the potential for weather and a lot of other things we are dealing with," said William Swann, Nashville OEM director.

Swann says the pandemic isn’t slowing installation crews down.

"They’re doing a remarkable job -- we’ve already got six of them up," Swann said.

In addition to the new sirens, the county will soon shift to a different severe weather warning system, only activating sirens if they’re in the smaller polygon of a tornado warning — not activating all of the sirens in the county.

Swann says the sirens will soon automatically activate seconds after a tornado warning is issued, meaning if you’re outside, you’ll know sooner that you specifically need to take your tornado precautions.

OEM says it’s important to remember — the sirens are only meant to warn people outdoors. If you’re inside, you still need a NOAA Weather Radio or cell phone alerts to warn you, if you’re not watching NewsChannel 5.