Boone County Commission votes to increase budget for more outdoor sirens
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission approved Tuesday morning a budget amendment for additional and/or replacement outdoor warning sirens.
The decision gives the Office of Emergency Management an increase of $14,115 for maintaining the outdoor warning system, often used in situations involving severe weather.
The move comes just months after an EF-3 tornado tore through Jefferson City.
There are currently 67 outdoor warning sirens in Boone County, with each having a range of about one-half of a mile.
Based off of the map, the majority of the sirens are concentrated around Columbia. There are areas, particularly near the Boone County boundary lines, that still lack sirens.
A common misconception about sirens is that you are supposed to hear them from your home. In reality, the sirens are meant to warn people who are outside. Once inside, officials ask people to turn on a television or radio for more information.
Interim Director of Emergency Management Chad Martin told KOMU 8 News instead of four new sirens his office originally planned for, the bigger budget will now allow for six:
- 3 in Centralia
- 2 in Hallsville
- 1 in Columbia
Martin said Centralia's sirens were aging and the new sirens will be taller, providing a greater range. He expects crews to install the new sirens within three months.
(Editor's note: KOMU.com has updated this story with the latest information.)