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Authorities Urge Weather Preparedness

April 24, 2012, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Authorities Urge Weather Preparedness
ABERDEEN, SD -

With officials using this week to prepare the public for severe weather, emergency managers are asking you to do your part as they do theirs.

People in Edmunds County are no stranger to severe weather. While the county has warning systems such as sirens in place, its emergency manager urges the public to rely on more than that to be prepared.

"The sirens are really designed to be what they call outdoor warning," emergency manager Leland Treichel said.

And they are mechanical and can malfunction. In 2008, a tornado was just miles away from Bowdle and one of its sirens wouldn't sound. It had tested fine less than a week before.

Treichel is thankful to have the sirens and says they’ve helped multiple times since being installed nearly ten years ago. But he urges people to take additional steps to stay on top of the weather as well.

In Brown County that's something people were doing Tuesday. Dozens of people came to buy or program a weather radio at an event in Aberdeen. Barbara Schwan got one of the last ones.

"I'm in a split level and I'm upstairs and I just wanted it in case we get a storm. So it can go off and I can go down," Schwan said.

The radios were so popular, stores in the city sold out by afternoon. They're tools Treichel recommends as they warn people when severe weather is on its way.

But those too are one tool. Treichel urges people to take whatever steps necessary to be prepared and safe.

"They need to still keep up on the weather as weather develops and there's severe weather in the area," Treichel said.

Treichel says his county tests the emergency sirens every week.

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