Severe Weather Warning Siren
Question asked by Jeff - 12/12/2022 at 8:12 PM
Employee Post
Hi board,

In light of the severe weather warning siren proposal not passing at the November meeting, but knowing that having the full board present would likely change the eventual outcome, I had some concerns.

Given that resident feedback was 59-41 in favor, and the sample size was statistically significant, I’m going to continue to be in favor of the concept of severe weather warning sirens.

For the “No” votes, I appreciated hearing why you didn’t support it. Knowing that if this eventually passes it’ll be a very split vote, I want to focus on the concerns. While I think it’s important that I continue to support motions that move this project along. What would be worse is to begin spending money on the effort only for it to be derailed either by a vote flip or an unanticipated curveball. Now knowing that we are divided on this issue, I want to take a look at the constructive negative feedback from the resident survey and address those before I vote “Yes” again when this inevitably comes up again

Here are some:

“A PSA about mobile apps with severe weather warnings would be far more cost effective.”

“a communication effort could be used to share that Argyle FD has an alert system to better protect those who may not hear the siren or come home during an event unknowingly.”

“Out dated method and it does not provide specifics on what the warning is. Many believe such sirens are just for tornados when this is not the case. Public education on how to receive notifications on phones would be lower cost and have a greater reach to residents even when not home. Subsidizing weather radios for those without smart phones would also probably be cheaper”

“Are we sharing the cost with The Ridge since this would benefit them as well?” - We should run down all cost sharing avenues. Montini from Northlake indicated in April they desire sirens too but could not get county support. And also get a firm answer from Belmont 2.

“This should be an Emergency Services District Project if it’s even needed. They already send out emails, texts and will call if you sign up for their weather alerts.” - Is this the jurisdiction of the ESD? If so, why have they declined to put them up?

“The county should cover this cost.” - Same as above. Should our residents be advocating to their county representatives instead?

“There are enough alert services available to notify, Fire Department specifically has a terrific one that is address specific.”

“Would this include a lightning warning system too? Harvest has a LOT of outdoor activities and lightning comes up fast. Bob Jones Park in Southlake has this type of warning system, along with tornado sirens.” - What types of sirens are we proposing and why?

“ongoing maintenance costs down the road.” - What surprises are in store? Can we check with other municipalities that have them?

“I feel the severe weather phone alerts and texts we already receive from the district are more than sufficient, in addition to available notifications from local news stations and.or weather apps. It’s often difficult to hear the sirens indoors.“

“Do not think they are necessary with all our weather and tcic and ncic updates.” - I’m unfamiliar with these and the potential redundancy.

Many of these highlight the need for ongoing communication and education necessary. If we are to install, we own the responsibility to make sure residents know what they are and what they are not. That’s a responsibility and a challenge that never ends.

But these were comments that stood out to me as constructive and worthy of discussion since we are split. And if I’m going to vote yes again I’d want to be reasonably sure it’ll be seen through.

Belmont FWSD

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User Replied
Lantana was just hit by a tornado on Tuesday.
So, if they don't think it'll happen here then it won't I suppose.
Patricia Replied
Employee Post
I believe we have additional due diligence to pursue prior to holding an election to try to obtain firefighting authority to install a storm warning system.
1 – I am concerned that installing a storm warning system close to or on people’s property will be perceived as a devaluation of the home price. If the residents close to where they would be installed don’t perceive it that way, then this becomes much less of a concern for me.
2 – I think we should publish the projected locations of the sirens, including how loud they will be going off during the testing timeframes and what a similar sound would be that they are familiar with. I foresee there will several comments as we have several comments on stop sign placement. Babies and dogs in particular I think will be bothered by the noise. My preference is that the layout of a location be part of a master plan that is publicized.
3 – I think with all the intersecting jurisdictions that are close, we need to ask if any are considering inputting one (Hillwood with the rest of Harvest being developed, Pecan Square, and Hunter Ranch if they are considering putting one in; Denton County, town of Northlake, etc.). And I don’t know if there is legislation that requires one once population reaches a certain size.
4 – I am concerned if we as a board or district would be held liable if it doesn’t work when it’s supposed to, ie the ESD either doesn’t operate it or misses operating it timely.
5 – I think we should talk to AISD and NISD principals about whether they would feel comfortable or desire having a siren either on or close to school property.
Board Belmont FWSD

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