Forsyth County adding more tornado sirens to keep people outdoors alert

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Springtime is here and that means it is the peak season for tornadoes in Georgia and the South. Officials in one metro Atlanta county are adding more sirens to keep people aware.

“It’s supposed to be an immediate recognition to if you’re outside to get inside, to get away from the windows, get somewhere as interior as you can,” Ashley Lauria-Golden said.

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Lauria-Golden is the deputy director for Forsyth County’s Emergency Management Agency.

On the first Wednesday of each month at noon, Forsyth County will sound the sirens to test them. The only other time the county will sound the sirens is when tornado warnings are issued.

It’s a sound that residents haven’t heard in a while.

“When we did the testing in February, we encountered a glitch with the software,” Lauria-Golden said.

Now, it’s back on track, with 17 sirens spread throughout the county and five more coming this year.

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Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Eboni Deon said the sirens have a specific purpose and that’s why it’s important to not rely solely on the sirens.

“Sirens were meant for people that are outdoors. The sirens are not to alert people inside of their homes. That’s where your apps come in handy. That’s where your NOAA radios come in handy,” Deon said.

In the spring season where tornadoes are likely, you will only hear the sirens when the National Weather Service has detected a funnel cloud or radar signals indicate one.

Lauria-Golden said that residents should familiarize themselves with the sounds.

“So you know what to do when you hear it,” she said. “We’re firm believers that there’s no such thing as too much notification when it comes to life threatening severe weather.”

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