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Effingham City EMA Announces New Siren Activation Policy for Destructive Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

Posted on April 25, 2024

The Effingham City Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is committed to ensuring the safety and awareness of all its residents in the event of severe weather. Effective immediately, the city’s early warning siren system will be activated not only for tornado warnings but also for severe thunderstorm warnings that carry a destructive tag as classified by the National Weather Service that are expected to impact the Effingham area.

This policy update means that along with tornado warnings, any severe thunderstorm warning indicating the presence of winds reaching 80 mph or hail at least 2.75 inches in diameter (approximately baseball-sized) will trigger the activation of the city’s emergency sirens. This enhancement is part of an ongoing effort to provide timely and effective warnings to help safeguard the community against significant weather threats.

“The inclusion of the destructive severe thunderstorm warning to our siren activation criteria is a critical update that reflects our commitment to community safety,” stated Larry Thies, EMA Director. “Given the potential for severe damage and injury that these storms can cause, it is imperative that we use every tool at our disposal to alert our citizens as quickly as possible.”

The decision to expand the activation criteria was made in coordination with local public safety and weather officials to align with the latest meteorological assessment techniques and ensure a rapid response to the evolving nature of severe weather threats.

Key Points of the New Siren Activation Policy:

  • Activation for Destructive Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: Alerts now include severe thunderstorm warnings with threats of extremely high winds or significant hail. NOTE: Sirens will ONLY be activated when Effingham is listed in the impact area.
  • Continuous Improvement: This policy adjustment is part of Effingham City’s ongoing efforts to improve its public warning systems based on the latest safety standards and weather forecasting technologies.
  • Community Safety: Enhancing the warning system capabilities to include these additional types of weather events significantly aids in keeping the community safe during severe weather incidents.

Larry Thies
EMA Director
Effingham City Emergency Management Agency Phone: (217) 342-2555  Ext: 5368
Email: lthies@effinghamil.com

Emergency Management Agency Coordinator

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