Jefferson Township now has four new tornado sirens
Warning people about severe weather can be the difference between life and death. Jefferson Township in Elkhart County isn't taking any chances.
Several new tornado sirens were installed throughout the area which is north of Goshen.
They already had two which were put up in 2014 but the township got four more last month.
The township trustee knows how devastating tornadoes can be. He and his son survived the Palm Sunday tornadoes.
Jefferson Township paid more than $141,000 for its tornado sirens.
The township trustee says it was a necessary expense.
Jim Weldy says, "We've over the last period of time at least 10 years probably greater than that increased greatly in the number of residents."
The tornado sirens are activated by Elkhart County dispatch in the event of a tornado warning.
They're placed strategically throughout the township. Plus, the sirens spin in a full circle. This ensures more people can hear them day or night.
Weldy says, "The company we use do mapping so we know where our coverage is at because there's a certain circumference they cover."
During a tornado warning firefighters used to go out to make sure people knew about the threat.
So, the new sirens are beneficial for first responders too.
Doug Weldy is the Jefferson Township Fire Chief and he says, 'This one minimizes that process of not getting our guys and gals out in harms way."
The fire chief says the bottom line is the new sirens save precious time and they're one more way the township can try to keep its people safe.
Doug says, "If you're out in your yard and you might not have your smartphone with you or you might not have the radio playing or you might not have the TV on. So, you're able to be out in the yard and hopefully how we have everything placed that everybody will be able to hear the siren."
The tornado sirens have the ability to run on batteries.
So, if the power goes out they still work. The township trustee says they would like to get one more tornado siren.
If they do it would go in the southeast part of the township.