Villages in Hancock County are in desperate need of an update to their outdoor emergency warning sirens.
Currently, many residents would not hear the sirens telling them to seek shelter. Due to a narrow banding change, the sheriff's office is no longer in control of the sirens, 10 of which need an upgrade. Only a handful of fire departments in the county have the ability to turn the sirens on.
A temporary fix is to install a patch that will communicate with all the sirens.
"It's a radio module to send out a tone to each of the sirens to set them off," said Lee Swisher, director of the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency.
Hancock County Sheriff Michael Heldman said the temporary fix should be set up in a couple days.
The final upgrade will cost around $10,000, but county commissioners have already agreed to foot the bill.
"It's always a safety issue," Swisher said. "That's why we're asking people to stay informed. Luckily we're not in the severe weather season right now, that's why we're trying to get the patch in place before it happens because [the upgrade is] weeks away."
The sirens were initially scheduled to be fixed by the first of the year. Repairs are now expected to be complete in the next few months.
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