Tornado siren tests catch many students asleep

Shaina Smith and Shaina Smith

Senior Aziza Shumba is one of many students who checks the weather every day before leaving for class. But when it comes to hearing the testing of severe weather sirens, she only hears it about once every three months.

The Wood County Sheriff’s department tests the siren at 10 a.m. the first Saturday of every month. Tornado season occurs during April through July. May and June are the months when tornado activity reaches its peak.

“We can set off the alarms individually, but we set them all off during testing,” said Wood County Dispatch Superior Rose Chambers.

But because it’s the weekend, some students may not hear the sirens being tested so early.

“I rarely hear it every month,” Shumba said. “It’s probably because I’ve been sleeping in and I have earplugs in so I can tune out the drunk people and the train.”

Freshman Sheldon Stonerook said he can only remember hearing the sirens go off once since moving in, but knows it’s routine because he’s used to hearing them frequently back home.

The Bowling Green Fire Department placed 12 sirens in the city of Bowling Green to ensure everyone will be able to hear them go off.

Sophomore Timothy Reed said he has heard the sirens but doesn’t think they’re loud enough.

“When I lived in Texas the sirens are very loud, but here they’re not loud enough. You can’t hear them clearly,” Reed said.

Some students may not hear the sirens because of sleeping patterns, chemically-induced sleeping or sleeping with music playing through head phones, Shumba said.

Every building on campus has instructions located by the main entrance describing what to do if a tornado were to hit, according to the University Police Department. For on-campus students, resident advisers and hall directors are trained how to handle severe weather situations.

Off-campus students are encouraged to be familiar with the designated shelter in their building. This is usually the basement, away from any windows. Students are also encouraged to follow all procedures issued by local enforcement and National Weather Service during severe weather incidents. In the event of a tornado, off-campus students can also seek shelter at the Senior Citizen Center or the Bowling Green Community Center, according to the Bowling Green Fire Department.

The University also encourages students, faculty and staff to sign up for the Alert BG system to get the quickest updates on emergencies.

FACTBOX:

Severe Weather sirens tested at 10a.m. every first Saturday of the month.