Lackluster alert from the town for tornado warning

mrincredible
drummerboy said:
whatever happened to the Emergency Broadcast System? Why was not every TV and Radio broadcast interrupted with the warning?

 It doesn't break into streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu for one thing. I'm not sure if it will interrupt something recorded on a cable TV-issued DVR.

Or podcasts or Spotify or Pandora.

How many calls or texts can a reverse 911 generate simultaneously? That could be part of the problem. 

Mikescott you should read joan's post before yours. Lots of people turn off their phones or don't keep them handy 24/7.


jamie

Joe DiVicenzo should call everyone like he does for snow storms.


mrincredible
jamie said:
Joe DiVicenzo should call everyone like he does for snow storms.

 Ha.

But again how long do the robocalls take? They can't possibly dial every phone line at the same time. There has to some kind of connection limit.


Klinker
mikescott said:

 I would  use text messages as the primary method since they are the most effective way to reach the largest number of people.  Every method will fall short of reaching 100% of the population.  

 Right.  Thats why we need to use multiple methods.  Text messages AND Sirens AND Emergency Broadcast System AND anything else that might save lives. Its not an either or situation.  No one (and this has been pointed out repeatedly) is suggesting that we use sirens instead of text messages.


HatsOff

in my tech savvy middle aged and 20 something family only one of us got the tornado warning last night. The other two have smartphones but one was turned off and the other never got the alert. Two of us were watching cable TV and there was nothing. The other was deeply involved in the internet and nothing.

I think the siren would be a good idea. After I got the alert I googled something like “tornado” and google had a big banner about the tornado warning ... its suggestion was to listen for the siren and if it goes off, head for the basement.


So if Google thinks we should have a siren well that settles it right? ;-) But seriously it would be a good supplement to the higher tech notifications.


kthnry

Twitter was freaking out about the recent Ohio tornadoes because nothing was said on the Weather Channel or local TV channels. It was the middle of the night and they just kept running their regular late-night programming. Seems like nobody was home. 


sbenois

Sorry but this should not be coming from the town.   



We are not getting F4 tornadoes here.  Nor does the frequency or probability of tornadoes here justify anything more that the ample warnings we get via phone, TV, radio, social media etc.  




WxNut2.0

I’m all about public safety and good messaging in the face of severely weather — but let’s be real, if a siren were rung, how many people in maplewood would’ve known what it was for? Let’s be honest. And fwiw, tornado sirens are NOT meant to be heard inside. Anyone at the national weather service will tell you this. Couple all of this with push messaging to every single cell phone, and there’s more than enough to keep people safe. 


Robert_Casotto

Dammit.  If we want sirens we should get sirens.  And whistles.  And maybe a glitter gun.


WxNut2.0
bella said:
As climate change causes more severe (and nontraditional) weather events, we need to take precautions.

Careful.


Sweetsnuggles

As a former Ohio resident, although I received the cell phone text alert from NWS, I also expected to hear a siren last night.  


Klinker
WxNut2.0 said:
I’m all about public safety and good messaging in the face of severely weather — but let’s be real, if a siren were rung, how many people in maplewood would’ve known what it was for? 

Maybe they would have looked at the internet to see what it was about?  One would imagine that the revival of the sirens would be accompanied by some sort of a public information effort.

I just keep wondering what it would hurt.

 


HatsOff

I do not listen to the radio. I don’t think we even have one in the house, though there is radio in our cars, we just don’t use it.

I do not watch real-time tv.

I do not participate in social media other than the very occasional  foray into MOL. I have no Facebook account.

Same is true for the other two adults in my family. This may not be precisely mainstream but we are not that unusual, I don’t think. We are not seniors though I hardly think that matters. If anything seniors should be the highest priority for getting alerts, and if Joan is an indication we are failing.

My phone gave the alert last night but the other two people got nothing. In one case the phone was off as it usually is. In the other I have no explanation. If I had been away on business or something they would have been oblivious.

Maybe sirens are not the answer but it is clear that the warning didn’t reach everyone. This time it was no big deal but it seems that there ought to be something besides cell phones or Facebook to get messages like this out. 


sac
mikescott said:

And to the snappy response about using sirens in the midwest, sirens would be more effective in rural areas (fewer hills and buildings, no competing train horns, etc).  plus many towns in rural areas have volunteer fire departments where sirens used to be the primary method to alert the volunteers.  Most use text messages today.  

 Sorry if you thought I was being snappy.  It wasn't intentional.  My daughter lives in St Louis ... not some rural area with no buildings, etc.  Maybe it isn't NYC, but it's still a major city.  And they hear the sirens fairly often and know to check tv, social media, etc. when they do.  She spent an hour in her basement just last week.


sbenois

St. Louis is  an area where tornadoes are very common and awfully large.   That is not the case here.  Tornadoes here are very very rare and nothing at all like the midwest in terms of size, scale or destructive power.

  






drummerboy

We've had two warnings in two days. When was the last time that happened?

Seems to me things are different now.

Despite what WXNut says.

But yeah, lets wait until someplace gets waylaid by a tornado before we have an effective warning system.

Makes sense to me!


yahooyahoo
bella said:


drummerboy said:
whatever happened to the Emergency Broadcast System? Why was not every TV and Radio broadcast interrupted with the warning?
 Good question, but don't forget that only works if you have the tv or radio on.  Public safety needs to be a multi-pronged approach.

 Our TV was on and we didn't get any warning. The only warning I received was on my cell phone.


mulemom
sbenois said:
St. Louis is  an area where tornadoes are very common and awfully large.   That is not the case here.  Tornadoes here are very very rare and nothing at all like the midwest in terms of size, scale or destructive power.
  









 That's not much consolation when yours is the house that gets wiped off the map by a tornado you didn't know was coming.  


sbenois

Have we had an epidemic of houses wiped off the map by tornadoes in NJ?


I must have missed it.


WxNut2.0
drummerboy said:
We've had two warnings in two days. When was the last time that happened?

Seems to me things are different now.
Despite what WXNut says.
But yeah, lets wait until someplace gets waylaid by a tornado before we have an effective warning system.
Makes sense to me!

Let’s not do this again. 


Also, where was the warning today? We had one last night, not today. 


WxNut2.0

For all of you talking about getting your houses wiped off the map, please tell me the last time a violent tornado (EF4-5) hit NJ. I’ll wait. 


sbenois

Don't hold your breath.


DaveSchmidt
Robert_Casotto said:
Dammit.  If we want sirens we should get sirens.  And whistles.  And maybe a glitter gun.

 Any one would “fit” the bill.


HatsOff

My concern here is less about the severity of the risk and more about the inequity of distribution of the warning. I got a terrifying, loud alert on my phone. I was VERY scared. Others got nothing.

Based on what the experts here are saying maybe none of us should have got the alert. That would have saved us all from anxiety.

But if there was a valid reason for some of us to get that alert then all of us should have got it some way as well.



mrincredible
yahooyahoo said:
 Our TV was on and we didn't get any warning. The only warning I received was on my cell phone.

 Stupid question: real-time broadcast? 

I wonder what it would take to implement an emergency alert system that could appear on any smart TV no matter what it was doing ... streaming or replaying recorded content for instance.

It's also something Amazon could integrate into Alexa.


Robert_Casotto

Tornadoes are extremely common in New Jersey.


Actually,  maybe I’m thinking about tomatoes.


joan_crystal

My concern is not with EF 4-5 tornadoes becoming common in Maplewood.  I am concerned about the ineffective way in which the town communicates in the event of any true emergency.  We have become so depended on our "intelligent" devices that we fail to realize that (a) not everyone in our community has access to such a device; (b) not everyone with such a device has access to it all the time for reasons I have outlined above; and (c) in the event of a prolonged power outage, many of us would have no working communication device at all.

During the two weeks after Sandy hit our area, the TC was reduced to making daily live updates at the Main Library as the only dependable method of letting the general population know the status of power restoration and other issues of import. Obviously, not everyone knew about or took advantage of these updates.  We need to come up with a combination of approaches which collectively have the reasonable expectation of reaching our entire community.


hazel
FilmCarp said:
I disagree.   The siren doesn't reach everyone, and who knows what it is sounding for.  My phone was exploding with warnings.  I don't think that this is a town issue.  County or regional, maybe, but not town specific.  Why involve another layer of government?  Listen to the radio, watch TV, check your phone, there are lots of systems in place without adding the town.

 I did not get a single alert. Found out about it the next day.


hazel

The siren still goes off to warn golfers to take cover when a thunder/lightening storm is in the vicinity. I was watching tv (HBO) alone and had my cell phone on and beside me. I got no warning. When the weather got crazy, I kept getting up and looking outside, remarking to myself on how wild it was outside. But I had no idea that there was a tornado warning. I lived in Alabama as a kid and was in an F4 tornado. Plenty of warning and my family took shelter in the basement.


I think turning on the siren is a good idea. I have no idea why I did not get an alert on my phone. I get Amber alerts and have had severe weather warnings before. And I am signed up for anything from the town. 


Just educate people new to town about what the siren signifies. Can be on the town website, or on any email. I knew more about the pavers being installed, which I know is a planned event. But the point is, people can be clued in pretty quickly as to what the siren can mean. And the siren can fill a gap, that clearly exists, in communication.


kenboy

Siren really isn't such a bad idea. Strong storm PLUS siren, maybe you turn on local TV to see what's happening. I turned mine on once someone else told me there was a tornado warning, for instance. 

I've got the alerts turned off on my phone, ever since I got woken up in the middle of the night for an Amber Alert for a kid from another state. I guess the logic behind sending it was that I was supposed to get up and stand outside my house just in case the guy driving the kid from Florida to Maine or whatever the actual deal was happened to come flying down my side street? 

And that's the problem with the TV warnings, too -- if you'd ever been woken up after midnight with the BZZZZZ BZZZZZ BZZZZZ monthly required test message, you might hesitate before wanting to see the same "feature" added to Netflix, other devices, etc. The Boy Who Cried Wolf Problem is a real thing. 



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