If there is one thing we have learned over the years it is that you simply cannot predict what Nature is going to send your way. November is typically far outside tornado season – yet, as our friends in the Midwest unfortunately experienced, severe weather can strike at any time. This further demonstrates the critical importance of being adequately prepared. However, emergency preparedness is more than just making a plan. You have to make a good plan and execute it well. The residents of Oak Lawn, IL know exactly what can happen when that does not occur.
We have long been a proponent of electromechanical sirens. Independent research and field tests, along with our own research and testing, have demonstrated the superior coverage and reliability that electromechanical sirens offer. The manufacturers of electronic sirens tout the ability of their sirens to broadcast a prerecorded “voice” message as the biggest advantage their products offer. Unfortunately, those messages become garbled and virtually impossible to understand in the case of an emergency, rendering the siren useless. This is exactly what happened in Oak Lawn. A news article published in an Oak Lawn news source discusses the failure of the community’s new electronic warning siren system. Simply put, the publication states that “the reviews are in of the village’s new tornado siren system after it underwent its first big test on Sunday when heavy storms rolled through the area: it blows.” Below are just a few comments from Oak Lawn residents who are very unhappy with their community’s new siren system.
The following quotes were published on OakLawn.Patch.com – click here to read the full story.
MaryPat Hofer — “Used to be able to hear the old sirens with windows closed.”
Margaret Brindl-Maal — “Can’t hear the new system with the windows open. I live a block from it too. Go back to the old sirens.”
Janet Osterloh — “Right, open the windows. In November. Gimme the old tornado siren. At least you knew what that was. Can’t hear or understand this one.”
Shannon Abrham — “So we can hear the mumbled voices that you cant understand, the siren isnt even as loud anymore.”
Kevin Ford — “I’m putting my horn next to my ear, in case the quietest, most jumbled warning siren in the history of warning sirens goes off. Oh, that’ll be remedied by the discount weather radios we all buy.”
Cindy Estrada Tori — “Did it give the warning already because i didnt hear nothing??”
Valerie Girote Ross — “A siren should be an international warning. Why should it even say more than seek shelter and loudly let off the siren. I thought we were being attacked by another country the first time I heard it. So ridiculous.”
Becky Staszak — “I HATE the new one… It’s creepy, incoherent, nor is it loud enough. I can’t hear it with the windows open or closed! Bring back the old one already!! It worked much better! So dumb!”
Amal Ramadan — “We live near one but couldn’t understand it..not in English nor in Arabic…”
Justin Marcinkowski — “Yeah a tornado is coming. Open up your windows so you can hear someone tell it in a language you don’t understand……”
The experiences these residents are upset about are not unusual for electronic sirens. Electronic/voice sirens are simply the wrong tool for outdoor warning. We are proud to exclusively provide electromechanical sirens that are the loudest, most powerful, and most reliable outdoor warning sirens available. When you are making a plan for outdoor warning, don’t be fooled by a trendy sales pitch. Go with the product that has been the most powerful, most durable, and most reliable siren for over 100 years. Go with a Sentry.
Sentry Siren, Inc., 2812 N. 9th St., P.O. Box 386, Canon City, CO 81212
Toll Free: 1-866-427-4736 | Local: 719-275-8691 | Fax: 719-269-3397