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Published: Monday, July 29, 2019 @ 6:30 PM
Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 @ 5:52 AM
— After an outbreak of violent tornadoes on Memorial Day, Dayton residents want what they haven't had for nearly 20 years: tornado sirens.
"We didn't hear anything...If it weren't for Channel 7 we wouldn't have known anything about it," said Joe Taylor of Dayton.
The lack of an outside warning as an EF4 ripped through the northern half of Montgomery County caused fellow Dayton resident, Brenda Jewett, to question city officials on continuing a 20-year practice.
"I feel like our lives were put seriously in danger," she said.
However, that fear, City of Dayton Fire Chief Jeff Lykins said, is actually not founded.
At the time of the decision two decades ago, Lykins said, "It made fiscal sense to get rid of them."
With cell phones spreading as the most reliable way to receive weather notifications, the use of sirens seemed inefficient.
Smart phones do offer an unparalleled way to warn of approaching storms.
Jewett even mentioned in her testimony to the city council that if it weren't for her cell phone, she wouldn't have known of the incoming tornado strike.
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There isn't a grant to completely fund Dayton's lack of sirens.
However, Lykins said there are some alternatives.
"Homeland Defense offers some funding capabilities for that, but they don't offer a million dollars funding," he said.
Despite the cost, many people believe that saving lives doesn’t have a price tag.
So, what can you do if your community does not have active tornado sirens?
At a relatively low cost, you can purchase a portable weather radio certified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.