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Opinion: Tornado Sirens are as Useful as Gun-Free Zones

Tom Pennington, Getty Images

With the recent tornado strikes in Moore, OK and other places, many people are talking about installing tornado sirens here in Lubbock.

If memory serves Lubbock had them, and they did next to nothing to help the people in the town seek shelter during tornadoes.

But arguments of how effective or ineffective sirens would be today versus yesterday I believe that they are obsolete and not worth the cost.

Today almost everyone has a cell phone, and the majority of us utilize the text messaging feature quite frequently.

Rather than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a siren system that may or may not work, why not just have a database of phone numbers to which the weather service can send out a mass text message the moment a tornado warning is issued.

The cost would be much less and the information would reach citizens much faster with little confusion.

Rather than just hearing a sound if you happen to be outside at the time, you will get instant notification, not just that a tornado warning is in effect, but its location and direction.

I think people want sirens for the same reason they want gun free zones: a feel-good measure that won’t really bring them any security, but it makes them feel like something was done to keep everyone safe.

We have technology, let’s use it and save the taxpayer some money at the same time.

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