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Ten years after May 3 are we any safer?

By James Tyree Modified: May 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm •  Published: May 1, 2009
Technology is improving severe weather warning systems inside and out.

“The systems are better than we had; they’re faster and we have more of them,” said Ed Cravens, the McClain County emergency management director.

“Some have Twitter to notify people in their communities, and a new one that will work similarly to an emergency callout system that will use e-mail and text and copy to Twitter.”

Meanwhile, public safety officials can activate outdoor sirens remotely instead of having to be at the site. Cravens said some newer outdoor alerts even have voice capabilities.

Emergency management directors, though, remind people that outdoor warning systems aren’t designed to be widely heard indoors.

“Outdoor, by name, implies it’s for the outdoors,” said David Barnes, Oklahoma County emergency management director and president of the statewide organization. “Especially now, with the ways homes are built and the materials being used, the sounds of thunderstorms are further diminished.”

The indoor alert system recommended most is the NOAA all-hazards weather radio.

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