Resolution passes to look into more accurate tornado sirens for Nashville

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tuesday night, the Metro Council passed a resolution to look in to what can be done to activate tornado sirens in the specific area that warning is issued.

Back in November, there was a warning for the far southeast corner of Davidson County, but the sirens sounded county-wide.

In 2007, the National Weather Service began using what we call “polygon based warnings” outlining only the areas of a county that are in danger of a tornado. Here’s a look at the tornado warning for last Nov. 18, and you can see it only covered a very small part of the county.

(Graphic: WKRN)

The folks at the Metro Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have been doing their best with the system they have to alert the public, but it still warns for the entire county, not the polygon.

“Our citizen safety is our number one priority, so anything we can do to better the system, we’re going to look at that. But with this storm in particular, I would rather alert than get hurt and to let everyone know that there is a significant weather event happening in Davidson County,” said Jay Servais with OEM.

In 2013, Metro upgraded the siren system with brand new sirens from a company called Federal Signal. There is now a total of 93 sirens county-wide.

Federal Signal offers a “clip on” to the sirens that will allow them to only be activated if they are in the polygon of the tornado warning, so Metro Council voted on a resolution to get OEM to tell them what kind of software and hardware it will take to perform this upgrade and how much it will cost.