Thursday, April 15, 1999

In-home warnings considered


Lebanon looks into link with cable system

BY RICHELLE THOMPSON
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Council members are looking to the city's $7 million telecommunications system as not only a means to bring cable TV and high-speed Internet access to residents, but also to give them warning of impending danger from severe weather.

        An in-home warning device could avoid some of the problems reported by many suburban Cincinnati residents who complained they didn't hear the warning sirens Friday before a tornado struck, council members said.

WARREN CO. SIRENS
  Number and location of civil defense sirens in Warren County:
  Mason: 8 (2 more proposed)
  Lebanon 3 (2 to be added)
  Franklin: 7
  Franklin Township: 2
  Hamilton Township: 1
  South Lebanon: 1
        “If we had an in-home warning system, the deaths that occurred may well have been averted,” said Jim Baldwin, Lebanon's deputy director of telecommunications.

        While the city's outdoor tornado sirens sounded Friday morning, Councilman Joe McKenzie on Tuesday requested information on the cost and feasibility of developing an in-home warning system that may be more effective.

        In theory, it wouldn't take too much tweaking of the network being laid now, Mr. Baldwin said.

        Cable already is being run to the outside of each house. An in-home alarm could be attached to the cables, and the technology would need to be refined to trigger a warning tone.

        Policy issues are a bigger obstacle, Mr. Baldwin said. Council would have to hash out whether the city has a right to place an alarm in each home. The board also would have to determine how to fund the system.

        Mr. Baldwin said he hasn't researched the in-home alarm options and couldn't estimate a cost. But he said once council passed the necessary legislation, his department would need only a few months to implement the system.

        With the telecommunications network, each home could be alerted, Councilman John McComb said Tuesday. “I just hope we would never have to use it.”

       



8 tornado sirens didn't work
- In-home warnings considered
Middletown hears call for sirens
Residents begin planning new homes
Academy makes room for 340 displaced students
Officially: 92 homes, 40 businesses destroyed
Restoration, demolition to begin
Road closings, curfews
How to help, get help
Mail service still disrupted
County officials report on impact, response

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