Our Opinion: Warning sirens are sound investment in public safety

Public safety is among government’s priorities.

Natural disasters cannot be prevented, but sometimes can be predicted.

The Midwest is vulnerable to tornadoes, which have been characterized by meteorologists as the “wild card of weather disasters.”

Tornadoes earned that designation because, as one scientist observed, “it’s just hard to figure out when and where they’ll appear.”

Government may be unable to halt tornado destruction, but it can reduce deaths and injuries by sounding a warning in response to tornadic activity.

Emergency warning systems are among our best defenses.

We commend Cole County, Jefferson City and other municipal officials for making public safety a priority and purchasing new, digital warning sirens.

In March, Jefferson City contracted for purchase and installation of 12 new sirens.

The contract price of $25,000 per siren was extended to Cole County officials, who approved agreements with five other county municipalities Monday.

As a result, St. Thomas, Russellville, Taos, St. Martins and Wardsville will share in the costs and each will be the site for one or two sirens. Lohman officials decided to upgrade an existing siren.

In addition, seven sirens will be located in the unincorporated areas of Cole County.

A comprehensive emergency warning system will alert all county residents to seek shelter immediately.

A siren will not protect your home or property.

But promptly heeding the warning may spare you and your loved ones from injury or death.

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