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View Full Version : Country Needs Better Storm Warnings: Premier


DarkSky
08-26-2009, 11:31 AM
2009/08/25 | CityNews.ca Staff
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<!-- END OF RELATED STORIES --> <!-- END OF STORY TOOLS --> Canada needs a better storm warning system, Ontario’s premier advised Tuesday.

In the wake of the tornado that left an 11-year-old boy dead and caused untold damage, Dalton McGuinty is urging officials to implement a national public alert system.
For example, tornado-prone regions in the United States have sirens that sound when a storm is approaching.
According to the Ministry of Public Safety, a national system is in the works - but there’s no timeline.

Last Thursday, a tornado warning was issued just 30 minutes before the storm hit Durham. The small town south of Owen Sound saw the worst of it, when a boy at a day camp was killed.

Last week’s storm also cut a swath through Vaughan. In total, roughly 650 homes were damaged by the twister. Of the 38 homes that sustained the worst damage, only two or three may have to be completely demolished.
The others might be rendered fit for human habitation again with major repairs and reconstruction.

Emergency shelters in the city that were opened Thursday, when Mayor Linda Jackson declared a state of emergency, have since been closed.

Nagii
08-26-2009, 08:14 PM
I've been saying this for years. People do not always have access to internet and radio for warnings. And sometimes the The Weather Network doesn't keep up to date with their warnings and radar. I've had it a few times this summer alone when a severe thunderstorm went through Niagara and the TWN said partly cloudy and the day view spoke nothing of it.

I always say, Don't believe the weather network to save you when threatening weather approaches.

Smokin Joe
08-28-2009, 11:09 AM
i recently have been getting more and more into storms and since i've been paying attention and learning and listening, the weather forecasts on stations that are supposed to be the best and most up to date are running taped forecasts while severe weather is still happening in places.

namely the weather network and most dissapointingly 680 news. i can understand running replays of the forecast during fair weather but anytime there is a chance of storms or a storm is somewhere on the radar within the listening area there should be a live check on radar and a forecast update. it happens once in a while but not nearly enough....

SlideShowBob
08-29-2009, 01:47 PM
I have to say kudos to both EC and TWN for doing the best they could during this outbreak. I have worked for both and know what goes on duing these episodes.
Perhaps our Premier should check out this site: http://www.allchannelalert.com/ before he comments again....

Derecho
09-01-2009, 01:34 PM
Sarnia operates a television and radio emergency broadcast system as well as tornado sirens. I'm confused on why the rest of the province doesn't agree those systems are needed elsewhere.

Nagii
09-01-2009, 09:25 PM
Well St. Kitts had two sirens. They were mostly war sirens though and never used. Currently it only has 1 at Kernahan Park. And this All Channel Alert thingie doesn't work in it's entirely. For example, when Niagara was issued a Tornado Watch there was nothing on the radio and nothing on local stations expect TWN. And again. Sirens are more useful. As not EVERYONE has access to internet and radio.

Smokin Joe
09-02-2009, 10:52 AM
propbably because our polititions manage by crises so there will have to be a disaster for the pin heards to fund an initiative like that.

DarkSky
09-03-2009, 11:50 AM
I still say before they work on better ways to get the warnings to people, they really need to cut out as many false warnings as they can. North St. Catharines has had probably 20-30 tornado warnings since I started paying attention to stuff like that, 10yrs ago. Not one tornado.

If they start using TV/sirens/etc to go off every time one of those warnings are issued, people will stop paying attention to them. Then, if they ever *do* get it so that most warnings result in threatening weather, there'll be no warning system left that people pay any attention to. They'll all have been used up and rendered useless by the 'cry wolf' syndrome.

So I say, before going to TV alerts and sirens, get EC the resources they need so that the warnings really are worth paying attention to. And to prove that they believe their own warnings, make it law that every time a tornado warning goes off, all school and government buildings follow a safety drill for all people inside. They already evacuate the buildings every time the fire alarm goes off, why not follow a safety plan every time a weather warning is issued.

Nagii
09-05-2009, 12:39 AM
At my work we have a Emergency Management guide and it has a section on Tornadoes. During a Tornado, we are supposed to go to the back room and do stock. If there are people in the store at the time, we must bring them into the backroom with us. >_>; Its kinda silly.

What of south St. Kitts?

Derecho
09-09-2009, 02:20 PM
But, it's still all to reminiscent of 1985. Then, a call for better warning systems was made and look what came of it; Nothing. Even now, do you really think swift action will be taken by the government? In 5 years we'll probably still be talking about improving the system. Plus, it's taken the federal government 12 years to decide a television emergency alert system(CANAlert) is essential to Canadian safety. It's going to be a while yet before they even consider when the system should be implemented.

So, all in all I have little faith even the provincial government is going to make changes to the system. This review could take years to even begin.

DarkSky
09-09-2009, 08:53 PM
But, it's still all to reminiscent of 1985. Then, a call for better warning systems was made and look what came of it; Nothing. Even now, do you really think swift action will be taken by the government? In 5 years we'll probably still be talking about improving the system. Plus, it's taken the federal government 12 years to decide a television emergency alert system(CANAlert) is essential to Canadian safety. It's going to be a while yet before they even consider when the system should be implemented.

So, all in all I have little faith even the provincial government is going to make changes to the system. This review could take years to even begin.

Yes, the biggest draw back of any elected government, is that it takes forever to get anything done. One side poses a change, the other side fights against it, and they go on and on and on like that, wasting everyone's time and money, and accomplishing nothing.

SlideShowBob
09-11-2009, 03:08 PM
Problem is that our provincial government has no control over this issue since it is a federal government responsibility. The Federal Government needs to restore funding to EC so they can invest in better radar, more sites, more personnel, etc. But they seem more interested in getting re-elected rather than saving lives. It's pretty sad when a private broadcaster (Pelmorex - The Weather Network) is showing the initiative, jumping through the red tape (CRTC) to get the All Channel Alert off the ground - http://www.allchannelalert.com/
For those who say "Well, I don't watch television, don't have internet, don't have a cell phone and don't listen to the radio"...well too bad. My advice is to stop living in a cave and learn the basics of weather forecasting. It's up to the individual person to keep themselves informed. Sirens won't cut it - too expensive and prone to "cry wolf" syndrome. Plus someone will complain they are too loud, not in my backyard...etc. When everyone from T.V. weather presenters, TWN, EC and most other people know a storm is going to happen, pay attention. Why do we need to spend more tax dollars to warn people who obviously don't care enough to look after themselves? The government can't do everything for us except screw things up.
It amazes me in this day and age people still act surprised when a tornado hits Ontario. It happens all the time; some years there are more reports; some less. But they happen. I just hope that the storms of August 20, 2009 will wake people out of their blissful ignorance that we are immune from tornadoes and that they only occur in the States.

DarkSky
09-11-2009, 11:56 PM
Actually I think that's the best way to do it. Have private companies issue their own warnings through their own media. Then other private media can relay such warnings. Canada's such a vast land that it's probably wrong to making EC soley responsible for issuing *accurate* warnings (key word: accurate) for the entire country. I think people would be much better served if localities had their own warning systems, completely separate from EC.

SlideShowBob
09-14-2009, 09:33 PM
Alberta already does this: http://www.aema.alberta.ca/ps_emergency_public_warning_system.cfm
Perhaps Mr. McGuinty should look into this type of system. EC could still issue the warnings and leave the responsibility to the individual provinces how to implement the warnings. Therefore EC can just concentrate on the weather and not on broadcasting criteria. Funny how Alberta (after the 1987 Edmonton tornadoes) was able to do this while Ontario SHOULD have done something similar after the 1985 Barrie-Grand Valley tornadoes. Politics.....
As for individual/private broadcasters issuing warnings on their own....their insurance companies would probably shy away from that type of liability. As I understand it, TWN would only use their technology that already exists to broadcast the all channel alert. EC (and other government agencies) would be responsible for the actual alerts/warnings.

Derecho
09-27-2009, 03:38 AM
I emailed my local MP about improving the system. She snail-mailed me a response with thanks and that she has passed my message along to higher powers.

SlideShowBob
12-29-2009, 02:41 PM
I often write my M.P.'s and M.P.P's, on various issues, just to get a canned response from one of thier staffers. Unfortunately, sad to say, the only way politicians will do anything is if you financially support them come election time. Or else, also sad to say, many people have to lose thier lives before any action is taken by any level of government.