Weather sirens helpful, but costly

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Advances in technology saved lives during the devastating tornadoes that tore through the state last week.

Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy says Dual-Polarization Doppler Technology allowed forecasters to see the shape and size of the twister and get the word out to hunker down.

"The biggest savings was the weather service ability to hone in on the tornadic activity," Lacy said.

It's an old technology that let people know they needed to get to safety.

When the twister started ripping through Hattiesburg, tornado sirens alerted people of the danger.

While Biloxi has at least a network of ten tornado sirens, Lacy said, paying for sirens in other parts of Harrison County isn't easy.

"It's another tool. I'm not going to say no to that, but I just don't see where we can find the funding for it," Lacy said.

Weather wise, it's been peaceful in Harrison County, but what's to happen if that changes and a tornado is headed this way?

"Have a plan so that once the device goes off, you and your family knows what to do and you're prepared," Lacy added.

To avoid the danger of a storm download a free Weather App on your phone like the WLOX Weather App for Android or iPhone and smart tablet users.

"That will send an electronic message as soon as a watch comes out or a warning," Lacy explained.

Lacy also urges people to get a weather radio and FM device.

"These are a great thing you need in your home especially when you're sleeping, when weather could become a potential," Lacy said.

The purchase of more early warning weather sirens isn't financially viable on other parts of the coast. Lacy says it's still important for people to take personal responsibility when it comes to staying safe in dangerous weather.

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