Lackluster alert from the town for tornado warning

WxNut2.0
hazel said:
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.

When you’re in Alabama, a siren is necessary. When you’re in Maplewood, it’s just confusing. The warning the other night was for a marginal, in-cloud circulation that likely doesn’t even get warned in Alabama. Nothing touched down in Maplewood. Everyone really just needs to calm down. We get these every couple of years, if not more frequently.


HatsOff

Would you recommend that we turn off alerts on our phones then? I have found that on my iPhone I already turned off Amber alerts for the same reason mentioned above - a middle of the night wakeup. But I still have "Emergency Alerts" and "Public Safety Alerts" enabled. I have no idea what the difference is between these or which one caused the thing to practically give me a heart attack the other night. 

Again, I want to note that my concern is not with the specific level of risk. You are saying the risk is negligible - OK, I trust your expertise. My question is more WHY I got this alert if the risk was negligible. And if we all turn off emergency alerts, which right now seems to be the best solution to prevention of unnecessary heart failure (slight tongue in cheek but I mean it I was terrified), how on earth are we going to know in cases when the risk is actually real?


HatsOff

I guess to add to the above - the confusion is ALREADY there. I think this whole conversation should be evidence of this.

We are confused and some of us were scared. We are not experts like you. Most of us are not used to tornado warnings so we have no framework on which to base our level of fear and/or response to a situation. 

We need better information on which to base decisions that may be life-or-death ... or may not be. At least I do.


WxNut2.0

You got the alert because the NWS issued a tornado warning and those get pushed to your phone. They issued a warning based upon the small chance a tornado would touch down — it was the prudent decision — but that doesn’t change the fact that the chance of a tornado wiping away your house in maplewood is about the same as a volcano doing it. 


WxNut2.0

I’m not trying to minimize your fear or marginalize any confusion you may feel. I think that pushing warnings to a phone is a great idea. But if a siren sounds in Alabama you know what it’s for. In maplewood it’s just going to confuse people, that’s the only point I’m trying to make. 


yahooyahoo
hazel said:
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.

That is the siren at the country club, not the town's siren.  


HatsOff

You may not be trying to marginalize my confusion or fear but you are. The conversation here is just making me feel stupid. I am going to turn off the alerts. If there is a serious emergency I won't know. Oh well. 


sac
WxNut2.0 said:
I’m not trying to minimize your fear or marginalize any confusion you may feel. I think that pushing warnings to a phone is a great idea. But if a siren sounds in Alabama you know what it’s for. In maplewood it’s just going to confuse people, that’s the only point I’m trying to make. 

This is an education issue then. The only thing people would need to know is that the siren signals some kind of potential emergency, therefore they should check other sources for more info - TV, radio, text messages, social media.  Back when they tested them weekly, I suspect that people who didn’t know would ask ‘What’s that sound?” or similar, and that’s probably how most of the education took place. These days, we see ‘What's that sound?” posts on social media (including MOL) from time to time and usually an answer is forthcoming. If the siren(s) were to be reactivated, then articles in the News-Record and Village Green plus that kind of ‘word of mouth’ could probably accomplish the education need.


If you think the tornado warning was frivolous, then that’s another matter, to be taken up with the NWS.  It didn’t turn out to be frivolous in Stanhope and I doubt that their statistical likelihood is much different than ours.


bella
WxNut2.0 said:
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. 

 Let's talk to the people in Dayton, that was only an F3.  Heck, I can send you a screen shot from one of my friends in Dayton saying it was BAD.  


More importantly, we can't count on weather being the same as it used to be. 


WxNut2.0
bella said:


WxNut2.0 said:
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. 
 Let's talk to the people in Dayton, that was only an F3.  Heck, I can send you a screen shot from one of my friends in Dayton saying it was BAD.  


More importantly, we can't count on weather being the same as it used to be. 

Dayton, OH is not Maplewood. Come on. They live in an area that historically is prone to strong to violent tornadoes. This isn’t anything new to them. Feel free to look up the Xenia tornado(es). Stop making comparisons that aren’t valid. 


And while no, we can’t count on the weather to be “the same as it used to be”, maplewood still isn’t about to become tornado alley. 


WxNut2.0
sac

If you think the tornado warning was frivolous, then that’s another matter, to be taken up with the NWS.  It didn’t turn out to be frivolous in Stanhope and I doubt that their statistical likelihood is much different than ours.


I didn’t say the warning was frivolous. In fact I said it was prudent. What I said was sounding a siren when nobody knows what it’s for is frivolous. It creates confusion and hysteria. 


WxNut2.0
HatsOff said:
You may not be trying to marginalize my confusion or fear but you are. The conversation here is just making me feel stupid. I am going to turn off the alerts. If there is a serious emergency I won't know. Oh well. 

 Why would you turn off the alerts? You want an ambiguous siren to be sounded but don’t want a message sent to your phone telling you what’s going on? That makes no sense...


Klinker

Is the climate changing or is it not?  Will violent weather be more common moving forward or will it not? 

These are the things that our meteorologists here and our climatologists on a larger scale have been telling us for years.  Is it true or is it all just a bunch of BS and, IF IT IS TRUE, should we not take steps to be more prepared in the years to come?


WxNut2.0
Klinker said:
Is the climate changing or is it not?  Will violent weather be more common moving forward or will it not? 
These are the things that our meteorologists here and our climatologists on a larger scale have been telling us for years.  Is it true or is it all just a bunch of BS and, IF IT IS TRUE, should we not take steps to be more prepared in the years to come?

 The climate is warming, that’s beyond dispute. The evidence linking tornado frequency and intensity change to climate change is tenuous at best. If you want to link something to climate change here, it’s more likely the devastating flooding occurring in the Midwest and plains states, not the tornado warnings over NJ. 


bella
WxNut2.0 said:


bella said:

WxNut2.0 said:
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. 
 Let's talk to the people in Dayton, that was only an F3.  Heck, I can send you a screen shot from one of my friends in Dayton saying it was BAD.  


More importantly, we can't count on weather being the same as it used to be. 
Dayton, OH is not Maplewood. Come on. They live in an area that historically is prone to strong to violent tornadoes. This isn’t anything new to them. Feel free to look up the Xenia tornado(es). Stop making comparisons that aren’t valid. 


And while no, we can’t count on the weather to be “the same as it used to be”, maplewood still isn’t about to become tornado alley. 

 Obviously you feel strongly that it's unnecessary, so ignore my request to contact  town hall in support of this.  I still think that people should know what a civil defense siren sounds like.  ETA: even if it's not being used for a tornado.

People on Soma Lounge actually thought police sirens were the civil defense sirens when it was being questioned Tuesday night why the sirens weren't going off.  To me, that's an issue. 


HatsOff
WxNut2.0 said:


HatsOff said:
You may not be trying to marginalize my confusion or fear but you are. The conversation here is just making me feel stupid. I am going to turn off the alerts. If there is a serious emergency I won't know. Oh well. 
 Why would you turn off the alerts? You want an ambiguous siren to be sounded but don’t want a message sent to your phone telling you what’s going on? That makes no sense...

Because you said yourself that the risk to Maplewood is minimal. If that is the case, why allow myself to be scared by an alert that I didn't need to get? Don't waste your typing tell me to just relax - if I hear that sound again, I'm going to be SCARED. There was nothing in that alert to tell me "well there's a warning but honestly we're talking about a teeny tiny threat and a teeny tiny risk of even that happening." So frankly what is the point of getting them? It provides zero useful information.

Also, you don't seem to think it is much of a big deal if a significant percentage of people don't get the alerts. Well if it's no big deal if they don't get them, then it is no big deal if I don't.

If the alerts are important, then everybody should get them one way or another. And I infer that they must not be important as plenty of people aren't getting them and you (an expert who I respect) don't seem to think that is something to be concerned about. And as I said above it gave me no useful information anyway, just fear.


Klinker
HatsOff said:
If the alerts are important, then everybody should get them one way or another.

 And there you have it.  Its as simple as that.  

 snake 


mikescott

Back to my original point.  I think the county should be the primary one sending out the warnings -- which  means using town sirens.  Even if we use sirens it needs to be a coordinated effort with several towns since weather alerts are for a larger area than just SOMA.  

Within another 10 years, it will be safe to say 99% of people will have mobile phones.

By the way another problem with the sirens, is that many homes have all the windows closed with AC units in the windows, and it is impossible to hear them.  

For those who got the warning, how many went down to the basement?    



WxNut2.0
Klinker said:


HatsOff said:
If the alerts are important, then everybody should get them one way or another.
 And there you have it.  Its as simple as that.  
 snake 

Absolutely no one is debating this. But HatsOff is the same person who said they’d be turning off the warnings...that go directly to their phone...seemingly in favor of waiting for a siren. 


But fine, let’s talk about the other day and not sounding the sirens. If you want to sound sirens for the one or two times every five or so years there’s a tornado warning for Maplewood, by all means do it. But we’d better make sure there’s a HUGE push to make EVERYONE aware of why the sirens are being activated. 


I understand that a tornado warning occurred in Maplewood and it’s freaking people out. But let’s apply a touch of logic here. There was no tornado in maplewood. The storm wasn’t particularly close to producing one in Maplewood either, and certainly not a strong one. The warning was justifiably issued due to cloud base rotation as a precaution in the event a weak tornado occurred. You’re all acting as though we live in Kansas or something. Your house is about as likely to be swallowed by a sinkhole as it is to be wiped clean by a tornado. In fact, it’s more likely the ocean will swallow your house due to climate change in the next 50-100 years (still not likely, at least not in maplewood where we’re well inland) than getting hit by a tornado strong enough to destroy it. 


As for the warnings coming from the county, that’s not a good idea. Let the NWS do it an disseminate those warnings accordingly, as is already the case. We have enough issues with communication of weather hazards from different sources as is. Why add another wrinkle?


drummerboy
WxNut2.0 said:


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. 

 as I said...


mikescott

Well for best solution, I think Max W should be responsible for notifying anyone who posts on MOL.  oh oh


HatsOff
mikescott said:
Back to my original point.  I think the county should be the primary one sending out the warnings -- which  means using town sirens.  Even if we use sirens it needs to be a coordinated effort with several towns since weather alerts are for a larger area than just SOMA.  
Within another 10 years, it will be safe to say 99% of people will have mobile phones.
By the way another problem with the sirens, is that many homes have all the windows closed with AC units in the windows, and it is impossible to hear them.  
For those who got the warning, how many went down to the basement?    


 

I went into our unfinished basement and sat on the floor with a glass of wine for 30-45 min. My spouse (who got no alert) told me this was insane and he refused to go. Instead went outside and inspected the gutters, which I thought was foolhardy. Our adult child (who also did not get the alert) was upstairs and stayed there. 

My dog followed me downstairs and promptly spilled my wine all over the floor. The whole thing was just ridiculous. 

This is why I am turning off the alerts. I feel that I sat in my basement like a fool when it wasn't necessary, made the place look like a murder scene with red wine all over the place, with others in my family laughing at me as I shook in my boots. 

Again I don't think the weather people here are really able to "dumb themselves down" enough to really understand how us normal civilians perceive these things. Ear splitting, terrifying warning from cell phone is interpreted by many (me anyway) as a "life or death situation." Well it was not a life or death situation, but I think we can be forgiven for reacting that way. But in fact, if I understand the weather guys correctly, it was pretty much nothing. Zero, zilch, nada.

So forget the damn sirens. I say that IF the NWS is going to issue these damn things on the phone, they should a) figure out a way that EVERYBODY (everybody everybody) gets the message in some fashion, and b) only send them when it really is an emergency, and c) provide enough context that people know how to react. NONE of these three things happened. 2/3 of the cell phones in my household did not get the alert. From now on it will be 3/3 because I am not going to be made a fool of again.


StarbellySneetch

I think I remember some sort of siren test in the Seton Hall area about a year or so ago. There was some sort of really loud PA announcement of the test, then a siren. I assumed at the time it was on the campus and maybe part of some active shooter drill. So maybe we do have active sirens and the situation just wasn't deemed necessary for their use?

I do not have a fear that a tornado will wipe out my house, but I do get a bit worried about trees coming down when the ground is really wet and there are high winds. Having a large limb come through the roof is a valid concern for many homes in our area. While I may not go to the basement I have had everyone leave the second floor in the past during big storms. 


Robert_Casotto

Can we have the Tornado sirens also warn us everytime someone from South Orange posts on a Maplewood thread?


Talk about frightening.




WxNut2.0
drummerboy said:


WxNut2.0 said:

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. 
Click to Read More
WxNut2.0 said:

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. 
 as I said...

 Good to see you didn’t actually read the snippet of the article you posted. There were not two tornado warnings in maplewood. There weren’t even two watches, the watch yesterday didn’t include Essex county. All there was was an article trying to teach you the difference between a watch and a warning, but in the process somehow caused you to believe both had been issued two days in a row. 


Here’s a link to all the tornado warnings issued by the NWS NYC (the office responsible for maplewood) in the last week or so. There’s two, with the second being an update to the first as the storm moved:


https://kamala.cod.edu/offs/KOKX/wfus51.chunk.html


The Dunning Kruger is very strong with you.


WxNut2.0
HatsOff said:


mikescott said:
Back to my original point.  I think the county should be the primary one sending out the warnings -- which  means using town sirens.  Even if we use sirens it needs to be a coordinated effort with several towns since weather alerts are for a larger area than just SOMA.  
Within another 10 years, it will be safe to say 99% of people will have mobile phones.
By the way another problem with the sirens, is that many homes have all the windows closed with AC units in the windows, and it is impossible to hear them.  
For those who got the warning, how many went down to the basement?    


Click to Read More
mikescott said:
Back to my original point.  I think the county should be the primary one sending out the warnings -- which  means using town sirens.  Even if we use sirens it needs to be a coordinated effort with several towns since weather alerts are for a larger area than just SOMA.  
Within another 10 years, it will be safe to say 99% of people will have mobile phones.
By the way another problem with the sirens, is that many homes have all the windows closed with AC units in the windows, and it is impossible to hear them.  
For those who got the warning, how many went down to the basement?    


 
I went into our unfinished basement and sat on the floor with a glass of wine for 30-45 min. My spouse (who got no alert) told me this was insane and he refused to go. Instead went outside and inspected the gutters, which I thought was foolhardy. Our adult child (who also did not get the alert) was upstairs and stayed there. 
My dog followed me downstairs and promptly spilled my wine all over the floor. The whole thing was just ridiculous. 
This is why I am turning off the alerts. I feel that I sat in my basement like a fool when it wasn't necessary, made the place look like a murder scene with red wine all over the place, with others in my family laughing at me as I shook in my boots. 
Again I don't think the weather people here are really able to "dumb themselves down" enough to really understand how us normal civilians perceive these things. Ear splitting, terrifying warning from cell phone is interpreted by many (me anyway) as a "life or death situation." Well it was not a life or death situation, but I think we can be forgiven for reacting that way. But in fact, if I understand the weather guys correctly, it was pretty much nothing. Zero, zilch, nada.
So forget the damn sirens. I say that IF the NWS is going to issue these damn things on the phone, they should a) figure out a way that EVERYBODY (everybody everybody) gets the message in some fashion, and b) only send them when it really is an emergency, and c) provide enough context that people know how to react. NONE of these three things happened. 2/3 of the cell phones in my household did not get the alert. From now on it will be 3/3 because I am not going to be made a fool of again.

 You’re complaining about an ear-splitting, terrifying cell phone alert but would prefer a siren? 


Maplewood doesn’t get violent tornadoes and that’s not changing. I promise you that. This isn’t about dumbing it down for civilians, it’s about conveying the reality of the risk — of which there is very little in maplewood. 


galileo

It would be a good idea if the governing township committees discussed this. The weather is changing and we should be prepared. I remember a few years ago when there was a micro burst ( or they thought possibly a tornado) in the Midland Blvd section of Maplewood. There was a lot of destruction. Thinking it over I really feel a siren should be available. A letter should be sent out to every resident so all would be aware. If it doesn't have to be used, that's great


StarbellySneetch
Robert_Casotto said:
Can we have the Tornado sirens also warn us everytime someone from South Orange posts on a Maplewood thread?


Talk about frightening.




 If a tree falls in Maplewood and no one from South Orange is around to hear it , does it make a sound?


WxNut2.0
There has been no established, peer-reviewed link between climate change and frequency/intensity of severe convective storms, let alone in the northeast. You’re conflating individual events with “the weather changing” and thats not accurate. Stop doing this.

HatsOff
WxNut2.0 said:
 You’re complaining about an ear-splitting, terrifying cell phone alert but would prefer a siren? 


Maplewood doesn’t get violent tornadoes and that’s not changing. I promise you that. This isn’t about dumbing it down for civilians, it’s about conveying the reality of the risk — of which there is very little in maplewood. 

I said "forget the damn sirens" and I meant it. I honestly don't care what methodology as used, as long as it is consistent (i.e. people are not left out) appropriate to the level of risk, and informative about what we need to do to stay safe.

If there is very little risk, we should not have received a warning. If nobody had received the warning, then this whole thread wouldn't even have started. It was started because some got the warning but many didn't, which very understandably upset those who didn't. They are worried that if there had been a true risk, they wouldn't know about it. I think that is fair.

I keep repeating myself here - I am not finding the words that will help you understand what I am thinking. 

I agree that conveying the reality of risk is important. The NWS (or whoever sent that horrible alert) needs to do a better job at that. Can you at least agree with that?

In any case until they figure out how to provide useful information to people without terrifying them when it isn't necessary, I am opting out. 




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