|Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 09:35 am: |
Does the City of Frisco's plan to synchronize the emergency warning system and in what timeframe? The past 2-3 times that a tornado/landspout has been spotted here (Sept. 2002, February/March 2003 and July 1, 2003) the Sirens have sounded but nothing on Emergency Channel 6 has been displayed. All local channels do not break in with NWS warnings or radar, etc.
When the landspout hit yesterday in the Lebanon & Legacy (Lebanon & Warren) area, I could find no local station confirming what we were in for. I'd like to see radar, get storm coordinates, see any NWS warnings, etc. so I know what to seek shelter from.
Mack Borchardt, Fire Chief
|Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 06:25 pm: |
Dear Cheryl, our goal is to provide you, as quickly as possible, all the information we have available. I appreciate your recognition that the sirens are only really designed as "Outdoor" Warning Sirens and that other methods of communication are best used as you are seeking shelter.
During yesterday's event within 5 minutes of sounding the initial sirens, we began to notify local media outlets through our Director of Communications and Media Relations, Dana Baird. The actual message was to inform the public that the emergency had passed. Simultaneous to this staff members were working to get similar information on Channel 6 and the City Home Page and Fire Department web sites. Some media outlets did report the event prior to 20 to 30 minutes it took to get the information on the City controlled locations. Ideally we would like for the information to be on the web sites and Channel 6 in 5 to 10 minutes under yesterday's conditions.
In the 3 times you mention, there were no advanced warnings from the National Weather Service or other sources. Our sightings were the first indications of possible tornadoes which lead to some of the time frames described above.
In summary, we are attempting to notify the most people in the in the greatest danger areas as quickly as possible and follow up with the information that the situation has stabilized as soon after that as possible. Had the situation not stabilized the warning sirens would have continued to sound.
If this needs further clarification please follow up with additional questions or contact me directly. Thank you for you interest and input.
Frisco Fire Chief
|Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 08:46 pm: |
I think this brings up the point that as residents we really miss the Weather Radar that used to be on cable channel 71. It really is a safety issue as well as a convience to the residents. Had the Weather Radar been available, it would only have taken seconds to look at it and know where the severe weather was and where it was headed.
Why can't this feature be reinstated? I know that there is some issues about channel 71 belonging to the school district and they now want to use it, but I would think a strong argument could easily be made that the Weather Radar channel is not just a convience but a necessary safety feature for the residents of the city. In light of the multiple severe weather occurances this year in Frisco, putting the Weather Radar back on the air should seriously be reconsidered.
Mack Borchardt, Fire Chief
|Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 10:22 am: |
I agree that having weather radar available can be a benefit to many people. We at the Fire Department use the cable channel's information along with other resources for many situations. Oftentimes we direct our Citizens to these same sources of supplementary information.
While I did not remember the exact circumstances regarding "Channel 71", I was informed of that in many cases when a channel is active but not in use, cable companies will put the NOAA weather radar on the feed (because it is a free feed for the cable companies). Apparently channel 71 previously had such a feed until the FISD began using this particular channel for their programming. While the City Staff are happy to make suggestions and recommendations on channel lineups, the City is prevented by law from regulating channels or content provided over any channel. Jason Gray, Assistant City Manager, will forward our support of a NOAA weather radar feed to a Frisco cable channel to his contacts at Comcast.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Frisco Fire Chief