Emergency management teams stress that sirens are just one of several ways to be notified of a severe storm. But faulty sirens in the town of Madrid are concerning some residents.
Jeremy Walters heard Sunday’s storm coming but didn’t hear what he thought should follow next.
“We need some sort of a warning you know?”
For over a month, the town of Madrid’s four sirens have been out of commission. Poor timing, considering the county just installed a new digital alert system. As normal, Boone County was transmitting all their signals to the communities but Madrid wasn’t receiving them.
“We had no idea they were not compatible. We didn`t know until they tried testing them after they had this system completely set up,” says City Administrator, Todd Kilzer.
Madrid’s sirens are still in analog format, the reason why the sirens didn’t sound.
Kilzer says it’s the county’s obligation to make sure the sirens are working properly. Boone County Emergency Management wasn’t available for an interview; however the Polk County Emergency Management team says counties are not responsible for each individual city and their sirens.
“It’s up to the cities to maintain and take ownership of the sirens to make sure they are compliant,” says Samantha Brear.
Brear says the federal communications commission urged cities nationwide to make the analog to digital switch a couple of years ago. The deadline to make the switch came last fall.
Madrid won’t likely face a fine for missing the deadline. The city has paid $11,000 for the replacement parts for the sirens. The sirens will be back working by the end of the week.