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Johnson County updates storm siren policy to mirror Marion and Bartholomew counties

tornado siren
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 16:35:11-04

JOHNSON COUNTY — Beginning on July 1, the Johnson County emergency personnel implemented a new policy regarding the storm siren system.

According to the Johnson County EMA, the sirens will only activate if the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning.

The sirens may also be activated if a trained storm spotter or public safety personnel sees a funnel cloud or tornado.

Johnson County EMA Director Stephanie Sichting said the change was overdue.

“We have residents, especially those living along county lines with Marion and Bartholomew that were very confused,” Sichting said. “Our old policy was confusing.”

Sichting said the policy in place since her start date in 1999 said that sirens would be sounded if the NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado watch was in place at the same time.

The new policy, which was approved by fire chiefs in the area as well mirrors the policies of Marion and Bartholomew counties.

“I wanted sirens to only sound if there is a tornado warning by the National Weather Service or if a trained spotter spots a funnel cloud or tornado,” Sichting said. “Feedback to the change has already been positive from residents.”