ALEXANDRIA — Outdoor warning sirens are a proven tool to let residents of Douglas County know there is an emergency. They are all locally owned and maintained. In 2019, two cities and one township upgraded or added an outdoor warning siren.
Leaf Valley Township did both. Using township funds, along with $1,000 from the REA RoundUp fund and $1,000 from the Lake Miltona Association, the township added a new siren on the west end of Lake Miltona. Located on Spring Lake Road, this siren rotates 360 degrees which provides the ability to reach a great number of people. Leaf Valley Township also upgraded its original siren so it can be activated remotely by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers. Those responsible for the success of this project are (in picture): Firefighter and First Responder Donny Kalpin, Township Board Clerk Pam Cuperus , Fire Chief Scott Korkowski, Township Supervisors Brent Ost and Dale Diedrich, Douglas County Communications Supervisor Tom Egan, Deputy Communications Supervisor Mike Henrion, Douglas County Deputy Emergency Manager Mark McCabe and Township Supervisor Keith Schultz.
The cities of Millerville and Kensington also upgraded their outdoor warning sirens so they can be activated remotely by the county. This allows for the most immediate activation.
There are 36 outdoor warning sirens in Douglas County. People need to remember that, while they are primarily used to alert for tornadoes, they can be used for any type of emergency. When the siren is activated it means emergency responders need all residents and visitors in that area to go inside and turn on a radio or television for an Emergency Alert System notification or check their cell phone, email or home phone for a CodeRED alert to learn more about what is happening and what actions they need to take.