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Garland Getting New Tornado Siren System

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Ray
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GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) - How do you find out if severe weather is heading toward your home?

Tornado sirens are a common sight across North Texas and, despite newer technologies like cell phones and weather radios, many local government officials still believe that these sirens have a place in the community. In fact, a brand new siren system is being installed in Garland.

The City of Garland had taken their tornado siren network offline two years ago, after the devices fell into disrepair. The city replaced tornado sirens with Code Red, a free text-and-call system that residents could sign up for to get tornado and storm warnings sent to them over the phone.

But officials elected to re-establish the warning system on a smaller scale. The first of 15 new sirens were delivered on Tuesday, and the city wants that new network up and running by the end of May. The new system is designed to warn people who are outdoors, like at public parks and pools, that dangerous weather is approaching.

City officials want to stress that fact. The new system is designed for residents who are outside, not those who are inside of their homes.

The sirens will sound when a Tornado Warning is issued in Garland by the National Weather Service. They will also go off when there are reports of 60 mph winds or hail larger than an inch. In addition to weather related emergencies, the sirens will go off for nearby chemical spills and for state or national emergencies.

So, while the wail of a warning siren could mean several things, it should always have the same result — get yourself and your kids inside.

There are also many private and public services that will send weather warnings to your cell phone, and many of them are free. Click here for a list of those providers.

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