After Islands tornadoes last month, CEMA says backup siren system in place


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It has been one month since a tornado ripped through Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands.

There were some concerns raised that day because outside sirens did not activate. Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) says it recognized the concerns and has made plans for a backup system which is a second feed into their computerized system. 

“Since that problem occurred, what we’ve done is we have worked with the siren vendor to get a redundant feed into that system so that is in place now,” said Dennis Jones from CEMA. 

“That system is now looking for two different feeds, so we have assurances from the software vendor that either one of those feeds should auto-activate those sirens that are in that threatened area,” he added.

Jones told News 3 that there can be ways to manually start the sirens, but if that is done “all 62 sirens in the county would activate and not just the ones in the areas where there is a tornado warning.”

The CEMA director says he recognizes the sirens are important to many residents but also stresses they are designed as an outside warning system only.

He urges residents to make sure they are signed up for emergency and text alerts on their cell phones

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