Why Harris County doesn't have tornado sirens

Harris County is second in the nation when it comes to the number of tornadoes on record.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Harris County is the second most tornado-prone county in the country, according to NOAA. So why don't we have tornado sirens?

Emergency managers believe wireless alerts sent to cell phones are a better way to inform people about all kinds of hazards, including the type of tornadoes we get in Harris County.

"That allows us to send a message about severe weather directly to someone's device, so it doesn't matter where you are, whether you are work, school or home, you now get that regardless of whether you are close to a siren. The mobile device is where we want to reach people for information they need now," said Francisco Sanchez with the Harris County Office of Emergency Management.

Tornadoes in Harris County tend to be smaller and cause less damage and fewer injuries. On average, local tornadoes aren't on the ground as long as the tornadoes seen in Dallas or Oklahoma.

Additionally, communities near chemical plants use sirens to warn of a Hazmat situation. If tornado sirens were added, emergency managers say people might be confused as to which threat is taking place.

The FCC is considering a proposal to send weather alerts to residents phones in very specific geographic areas.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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