Franklin County Officials Installing More Tornado Sirens


UPDATED: Tuesday May 21, 2013 5:59 PM
The Oklahoma tornado has people in central Ohio wondering about their safety and the tornado sirens in their neighborhoods.

It is pure coincidence, but the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency started installing more tornado sirens throughout Franklin County on Tuesday.

Fourteen warning sirens will be installed by the end of the month.

Mike Pannell, with the Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security team, says his team is watching Oklahoma closely.

"It's almost unfathomable, but that's why we exercise. That's why we train, and that's why we study these things all the time," said Pannell.

Two sirens are being installed May 21. By the end of the month, there will be nearly 200 in place across Franklin County.

"It's an outdoor warning system that warns people outside, and it saves lives," said Pannell.

Pannell has advice on what you should do if you're at home when strong winds start to stir.

"The fundamentals are, if you're in a house, get to a basement. If you don't have a basement, you have a pre-selected room that puts as many walls between you and the weather," said Pannell. "And you don't want to be figuring this out for the first time at 2 a.m. with the roof being torn off and with no electricity."

If you're in a car, Pannell said to get out and get to a low lying area.

If you're in a business, like this restaurant, they should have plans in place.

"For the amount of people that'd be allowed in a restaurant, they've actually got enough space that they could stick people in rooms for protection in case a tornado is coming to this city," said Steve Welsh, Mifflin Township Fire Marshal.

The head of the operation said that they are now paying closer attention to severe thunderstorm warnings because they can quickly turn into something more severe.

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