Officials say sirens should not have been sounded Saturday

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Some confusion set in on Saturday when sirens were sounded. Lucas County Emergency Management officials say the sirens should not have gone off.

The Lucas County Emergency Management Director Patricia Moomey says there was confusion over an updated severe weather policy, which lead to the sirens going off on Saturday.

"The severe weather warning policy talks about warnings from the national weather service. If it is stated as severe weather and that is the way that it was stated on the phone and so the sirens were set off by dispatch," said Moomey.

Moomey says the sirens should not be set off during a severe thunderstorm warning.

"We try not to set them off for anything other than tornado warnings or an actual citing because you don't want to cry foul because then people will ignore the sirens," said Moomey.

Moomey says there are three situations in which the sirens should go off. First is when there is a tornado warning from the national weather service. Second is when there is high winds that can cause damage or injury. And third is when a trained spotter sees a tornado or sees one forming.

Certified Most Accurate Meteorologist Chris Vickers says part of the problem is different polices from county to county.

"It is unclear when you hear an outdoor warning system, what are we warning for? It is a system that in my opinion, it just doesn't work," said Vickers.

Vickers says there are ways to clear up the confusion.

"I think the path going forward needs to be people, or needs to be a better understanding of our use of technology, how we can better use that technology to give people better warning and to keep them safe into the future," said Vickers.

The Emergency Management Agency will be holding a special meeting to update and further train dispatch on when to sound the siren.

A review of the police should happen by the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

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