Residents of Butler County want officials to re-think tornado siren policy

BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Many residents in Butler County are concerned after no sirens were activated to warn them of the tornado that touched down in Liberty Township.

Butler County officials say they were following their county wide policy that states the National Weather Service must issue a tornado warning for the county in order to activate the sirens. Butler County Emergency Management Director Jeff Galloway says every city and township throughout the county has adopted the same policy because it's important to be consistent and clear to residents for situations that warrant taking shelter. But after the tornado touched down in Liberty Township, many residents think the county's siren policy needs a second look.

According to Butler County Emergency Management, sirens are activated in four scenarios:

  • The National Weather Service calls Emergency Management to turn on the sirens.
  • The National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for the county
  • A county emergency management official can activate the sirens if necessary.
  • If a credible source spots a funnel cloud and contacts emergency management, the sirens can be sounded

Early Thursday morning, none of those things happened. Some Butler County residents believe the system is flawed.

"It's unfortunate that is the policy they hold because when we needed the sirens to go off they didn't. Earlier in the day they did go off multiple times and there wasn't even a little bit of rain," said Butler County resident Julia Frazier.

Moving forward, many residents want the county to re-think its policy.

"I would have the sirens come on when you have severe weather. It's probably a hard decision to make, do we or don't we, but I would rather them be on, then not on," said Butler County resident Cathy Herr.

Butler County Emergency Management Director Jeff Galloway says there are no plans to change its policy.

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