View Full Version : Windsor Essex considering tornado sirens.

07-05-2010, 12:54 PM
Windsor-Essex considers tornado sirens
Last Updated: Friday, June 25, 2010 | 9:09 AM ET Comments10Recommend8.
CBC News
After reports of possible tornado damage, Ontario's Essex County considers public notification sirens similar to those used across the border.

Bradley A. Smith, emergency management coordinator in Dearborn, said the tornado warning sirens that sounded in Michigan during Wednesday's storm are an important asset.

"The sirens themselves are another tool we can use to notify the public," said Smith.

Phil Berthiaume, emergency management coordinator for Essex County, said sirens notifying the public of a tornado threat would have been useful in light of Wednesday's storm.

"It could have been useful if we had one available," said Berthiaume. "Whether it was lack of threats, lack of funding, political decisions at the time, the fact remains that they were taken out of service over 30 or 40 years ago. We're left with the decision now of whether this makes imminent sense to have similar and what the costs are associated with these."

He said installing sirens in the Windsor-Essex region could cost $500,000 to $1 million per municipality.

However, Smith said their sirens have been worth the cost of installation.

"Each pole is roughly about $20,000, give or take," said Smith. "But not only do you have the one-time big expense, you have the [maintenance] cost. It's very important, it's pivotal."

Environment Canada said they will have investigators at Jellystone Park in Amherstburg, Ont., Friday to determine whether it was a tornado or strong winds that overturned a camper trailer and destroyed sheds.

Reports suggest that on at about 11 p.m. the campground may have been hit by a F1 tornado with winds of 120 to 140 kilometres an hour. No one in the community was hurt in the storm.

07-05-2010, 01:30 PM
I think that's a great idea!

Here is an email from the old EMO mid 2005 on the issue:

Dear Mike:

I will try and respond to your request with regards to Tornado Sirens.
Some years ago all of Windsor and County Municipalities had Air Raid sirens placed in certain areas of their town. This was a federal initiative that came as a result of the second world war and it was to alert the public with respect to an attack. There was some thought a few years back to use the sirens for other public alerts,however the Federal Government decided to dismantle and take down all of the sirens probably due to the cost of repair, and maintenance. Since then technology has been improved either through radar imagery , advance warnings,weather alerts, radio, television and the like. I cannot speak for City Council,however I'm sure they are confident at this time, that with all of the technology that is available i.e.: radios, television, news alerts,text messages etc, that should a warning be confirmed it will be broadcasted through out our region by those medias. I will bring your issue up to the Community Emergency Management Committee for their input and consideration. Thank you for your inquiry

Guy Dorion
Emergency Planning Officer

07-05-2010, 01:41 PM
I think every city in southern ontario should have them. Although that is a bit much

07-05-2010, 02:49 PM
I can't believe they've found a way to waste $20,000 on each pole. No wonder municipalities are always going into debt. They have no idea how to do anything cost effective anymore.

Stick a pole in the ground, or use an existing utility pole (with extension if need be), stick a siren on it, set it up with a wireless box to receive the signal from the office on when to sound the alarm. Jeez. Or just stick them on telephone poles, apartment buildings, or any other high structure, and get the signal of when to sound off straight from the phone line if they don't know how to work with wireless technology.

EVERY gov't creates enough red tape around everything now that they can't even do anything anymore unless it costs a gazillion dollars.

Spread the sirens around the town/city close to an existing power line, hook them up to a wireless receiver, DONE.

Heck I'm sure they even make sirens with built-in wireless radio receivers. As long as it can get power to it you can set them up anywhere.

Of course, I say all the above still being a firm believer that they would cry wolf enough times that nobody would pay attention to them anyway...

Edit: the sirens themselves cost a couple grand, max.



07-05-2010, 02:50 PM
Good comments below the video on the Youtube page on how cheap they are:


07-05-2010, 02:57 PM
I have 2 weather radios. I think they are great and i agree that sirens are for outdoor use only

07-05-2010, 09:25 PM
The stupid part is that there is ALREADY sirens in the area that are tested monthly. Why they don't sound for tornadoes I don't know.

07-05-2010, 09:38 PM
Sirens should be mandatory at campgrounds and other large public parks. Plus, they should also have tornado shelters.

Most campgrounds/trailer parks/communites in the states have sirens and public shelters.

If you shop in Michigan, such as in Port Huron, the malls all have big signs 'TORNADO SHELTER -->', cross the river into Sarnia and nothing. Such contrast. Though, most of Lambton County have sirens.

07-05-2010, 09:48 PM
Ya and look at the frequency of tornadoes in the Thumb area of michigan it is nothing like the plains and they still invest in that stuff. Just in case