Genoa discusses storm warning sirens


Genoa Township trustees discussed the purchase of outdoor warning sirens to cover the entire township, at their June 10 meeting.

Outdoor storm warning sirens are one of several ways that Delaware County residents are alerted when severe weather is approaching. There’s also CodeRED that issues blanket phone calls and email messages, and many county homeowners have NOAA weather radios.

The problem with storm warning sirens is their spotty location around the county. The city of Delaware has them, they’re in some park areas around the county, and Sunbury recently installed a new unit activated by the city of Delaware.

A levy proposal on the 2009 ballot would have resulted in a countywide storm warning siren system, but that ballot issue failed.

At the Genoa Township meeting June 10, township Assistant Fire Chief Joe Ponzi said sirens manufactured by Federal Signal at $25,300 per siren includes pole, siren and installation, but does not include right of way costs and getting electric lines to the poles.

Ponzi said some areas in the southern part of the township are within hearing distance of Franklin County sirens. He said that Federal Signal recommends five additional sirens for full township coverage.

“The Delaware city and Sunbury sirens are activated by Delaware,” Ponzi said. “(Delaware) Chief (John) Donahue said we could join their system free of charge, as long as the radio signal reaches down here. If not, we would have to install something to amplify or rebroadcast the signal.”

Ponzi said Federal Signal manufactures sirens used in the county’s other storm warning systems. If Genoa Township purchased sirens from another manufacturer, the township would need to check compatibility

Trustee Rick Carfagna said he sees storm-warning sirens as only part of the solution. They are often heard outdoors, but are not heard when a resident is inside a nearby home.

“I see this as a complement to other things folks should be using, like CodeRED,” Carfagna said. “Outdoor storm warning sirens are one of the multiple ways of making the public aware of an approaching weather problem.”

Carfagna said the township must find money for the five sirens if full coverage is wanted.

“Maybe do one or two, get them up and see how they work,” Carfagna added.

Delaware County residents can sign up for CodeRED on the Delaware County website at co.delaware.oh.us and click on CodeRED weather warning.