Indoor alternatives to outdoor warning sirens

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - When winds hit 80 miles per hour during Grand Island's most recent storm, Hall County Emergency Management set off the warning sirens. Some people were concerned when they weren't able to hear those going off inside their homes. But the Emergency Management Director, Jon Rosenlund, says you're not supposed to.

"A siren is an outdoor warning feature and really has very limited effect to warn us in our homes, particularly during a storm," Rosenlund said. "With all the other noise and all the other interruptions, a siren just isn't going to have the same range. A siren is not an indoor warning device."

Sirens are designed to alert hearing people outdoors of dangers. If you're inside, Deaf or hard of hearing, you may not be able to hear it.

"It is really hard to hear those sirens when you have your hearing aides or cochlear implants out," Aaron Rothenberger, Advocacy Specialist with the Nebraska Commission For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing, said. "It's really hard to understand what's going on."

For those people, the Hall County Emergency Management recommends staying up to date through their social media or your local news. You can also get a National Weather Service radio, which can be hooked up a device that will vibrate your bed or flash your lights if there's an alert.

"You can see that without having to hear it," Rothenberger said. "That is one of the best ways to be alerted about a situation if you can't hear it or you took out your hearing aides or cochlear implants or so forth."

It is recommended for both hearing and Deaf people to try to stay updated throughout the day and not rely solely on the sirens to tell you when there's trouble.