AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to the City Manager of Perryton David Landis, the night the fatal tornado hit the city power was lost, causing outdoor tornado sirens to not go off.
“We were under a watch at the moment they went to a warning. When they went to activate, we lost power throughout town,” said Landis.
Outdoor tornado sirens are not the only way, or even the best way to get notified when severe weather is near.
“There is not a lack of notification systems, there’s a lack of awareness, usually by the citizens,” said Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd.
At Governor Greg Abbott’s news conference in Perryton on June 17th, Kidd said that with weather apps, weather broadcasts, and weather radios there are many ways that the community can stay informed.
“We need to be working together to make sure that we touch every citizen and these impacted areas that will happen through electronic communications, some communities do have local outdoor warning siren systems that are out there. But really, you are our biggest megaphone,” said Kidd.
Chief Meteorologist John Harris said the first line of defense for citizens should be first a weather radio followed behind that a weather app, a news website, and local weather broadcasts.
“The tornado warnings or the sirens are made to be your last line of defense. They are meant to be heard outside not inside your house. The idea is that you are going to have a tv on, you are going to have a radio on,” said Harris. “You are going to be inside the house with a lot of other people, people talking. A lot of noise so you are not going to be able to hear the tornado sirens going off. So that is your last line of defense and meant to be heard outside.”
John added that having not only one line of notification but also having a weather radio, app, tuning into weather cut-ins, and listening for outdoor sirens is the best way to protect yourself and others during severe weather.
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