Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
TODAY WE BEGIN A SPECIAL SERIES COUNTING DOWN THE TOP TEN
After being approved in late 2010, tornado warning sirens were put in place in
Sorry, but I wasn’t convinced by the less than insightful arguments for sirens:
1) Well, gee, everybody else has them.
2) Yeh, but if we can save just one life…
Ironically, one commenter, fellow blogger dad29 wrote about sirens:
Enter veteran television meteorologist James Spann. Spann gets it.
After devastating tornadoes struck Alabama on April 27, Spann blogged about the problems with current warnings and alarms:
“I ask the NWS to consider stopping the use of tornado warnings when trying to catch small spin-ups within a squall line (or QLCS). These tornadoes rarely last more than a few minutes, and are next to impossible to detect in advance. And, in most cases, the greatest damage from a QLCS is from widespread damaging straight line winds, not tornadoes.
These kind of warnings force us to go on the air for 40-45 minutes, often after tornado signature has vanished from the radar. Sirens sound, the NOAA Weather Alarm goes off, severe weather apps on smart phones alert users. Getting these kind of warnings over and over and over again totally create an ocean of people that won’t be paying attention when a real tornado emergency is in progress.
I heard it over and over as people described their April 27 experience. ‘I hear those sirens all the time, and nothing ever happens’. The cry wolf syndrome is very real, and very dangerous.
Too many people believe they should hear a siren before a tornado strikes.
I think the time has come to take them down. Sirens are not efficient, reach a limited number of people, and can’t be heard in most homes, schools, and businesses. And, in most counties, the sirens don’t sound only in the warned polygon, they sound county wide. In some cases, this means you are hearing a siren when the actual tornado threat is over 40 miles away.
Sirens were born during the Cold War with the
Most southerners still have the ‘siren mentality’, and that no doubt killed people April 27.
*NOAA Weather Radio must be upgraded to the polygon warning system soon, or it will become obsolete.
Sure, it is the best thing we have now, and I still promote it heavily. But, why hasn’t NOAA upgraded their system so the receiver manufacturers can produce models with GPS included so they sound only when the receiver is a in a warning polygon? If something doesn’t change soon, the private sector will be the ones that push the warning process into the new technological era.
The best model I see now for the future warning device is the WeatherRadio app from the iMap weather guys. If you are in a polygon, you get the notification on your smart phone. If you are not, nothing happens. it works beautifully.”
Read Spann’s entire blog here.
And more here.
THE TOP 10
10)TORNADO WARNING SIRENS INSTALLED IN