Saturday, April 12, 2008
Most of Hamilton county’s 196 emergency sirens lack battery back-ups. It isn’t like Cincinnati doesn’t get its share of tornados and severe storms. Ohio has some of the highest taxes around. Hamilton county also imposes local taxes on its residents. Yet despite the apparent influx of tax revenues, the emergency warning system in is in desperate need of an update. The county has been trying for seven years to buy 100 new sires but so far nothing. Now hopes rest with a $700K Homeland Security grant. Why is this taking so long? The county emergency operations director was quoted as saying sirens can’t tell you what is going on. Agreed, however sirens can be used to get those who may be away from radios to TV to find out or take shelter. Cincinnati’s geography makes it difficult to travel in a latitudinal way. The hills make it difficult for sirens to be heard beyond their immediate vicinity. Keeping the sirens updated is an immediate need and should be addressed quickly. However as long time residents of Cincinnati know, nothing ever happens here quickly. As Mark Twain once said, if he knew the end of the world was coming he would move to Cincinnati since it would happen here ten years later.