NORTHEAST OHIO - Wednesday morning, many of you woke up to severe weather alerts and tornado warnings, and that led the FOX 8 I TEAM to investigate.
We found some towns, of course, don’t have tornado sirens. And it turns out, the state has no rules for the sirens.
Ohio does not require the sirens, and the state doesn’t regulate when they should go off.
In Chagrin Falls, sirens went off. Hudson, too. But not in Macedonia. No sirens there.
Macedonia Mayor Joseph Migliorini responded to the I TEAM question about why there are no sirens there. He said, "Well, I think that the city didn't make it a priority.” He added, maybe the town needs to talk about sirens again though the cost can be a big factor. "So we have to, I guess, reoutfit ourselves for how we should deal with an emergency in our town,” he said.
In Chagrin Falls, sirens go off when a tornado is spotted, or the National Weather Service issues a warning for that county or surrounding counties. Doesn’t matter if the possible tornado may be miles away.
Chagrin Falls Police Chief Amber Dacek said, "I think it's important for people to at least be aware of what's going on, especially if you have events going on during the day, and you can let people know and get them to safety."
Back in Macedonia, town leaders wonder if they need sirens because of smart phones. City Council President Nick Molnar said, as the storm approached Wednesday morning,
"Well, my phone started going off this morning. My wife's phone went off, my work phone went off.”
But in Hudson, the city is putting five new sirens up all around town. And not long ago, Brunswick upgraded sirens after severe storms there.
Hudson Fire Chief Jerry Varnes told us his city is getting grant money to help pay for the new sirens. They can go off automatically when the National Weather Service issues an alert. Varnes likes the idea of having sirens even with the phone alarms since it never hurts to overlap warnings in a potentially deadly situation.
But, as the I TEAM found, the warnings you hear when the wind swirls all depends on where you are.