Years ago, traveling over Government Street to Independence Park offered a glimpse of a siren atop a telephone pole within a wooded area. It was installed during the Cold War to alert residents of an attack. The siren was later modified for weather purposes and impending storms. In April, 2011, sirens failed in Madison, WI, during an outbreak of intense tornadoes. Replacing the sirens are cell phones and even though sirens enhance a multiple warning system, wireless emergency alerts immediately display a "take shelter immediately" message with an audio alert. Alerts now transmit three types of warnings: Life threatening storms, Presidential Alerts and Amber Alerts. Many emergency management directors believe sirens are valuable despite their aged methodology, the inability of hearing them indoors and past examples of storm-related failures.
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