Cedar Park brings back old technology to warn of tornados

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist DAVID GARDENER

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 26 at 5:41 PM

CEDAR PARK, Texas - Spring is severe weather season in Texas. Now Cedar Park is bringing back some old technology to keep you informed.

The city is going to use tornado sirens to warn people in severe weather. Cedar Park has used them before, but it's been several years. Now they've been strategically placed around the city, and you're going to start hearing them next week.

"We felt that they carried the most benefit to be carried here in our parks where we know any number of people is expected to be gathered here," said City Spokesperson Jennie Huerta.

Emergency personnel will trigger the sirens in the event of a confirmed tornado sighting in the immediate area.

"It is a good idea," new resident Jen Simmons said.

Simmons and her family recently moved to Cedar Park from Indiana, where she says authorities tested the sirens every week.

"I have two small kids, so we practice," she explained. "When we hear a siren, we know what to do in case there is a storm we know where to go."

The City says you shouldn't rely on the sirens to notify you. In fact, they're really designed for people who are already outside.

"They are a supplemental notification tool. Our mass notification tool is Blackboard Connect," Huerta explained. "We can push out an emergency message via text, email, home phone and cell phone in seconds."

The old technology isn't common in Texas. Georgetown is the only other Central Texas city KVUE found that uses them.

The sirens will be tested at noon on the first Wednesday of every month but not during inclement weather.

The sirens are at Brushy Creek Sports Park, Veterans Memorial Park and at Elizabeth Milburn Park.

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