photo courtesy Riley County

Riley County Emergency Management Coordinator Laurie Harrison explained the Saturday evening sounding of the outdoor warning sirens in the southern portion of Riley County.

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As the storm, with a history of significant damage approached the area, Emergency Management authorized activating the outdoor warning sirens. They did so out of concern for public safety, as there was post-game outdoor socializing, and out-of-town visitors were camping and likely unfamiliar with the area. People were confused about why the sirens sounded, and Harrison says communication technology contributed to that.

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Riley County Emergency Management Director Russel Stukey says the county will send out its own notifications in the future, which may cause some to receive alerts from two sources. 

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Stukey says anyone who hears the sirens inside should consider it a bonus.

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Some associated the outdoor warning sirens as indication of tornadic activity. But, Stukey says the outdoor warning sirens can be sounded for any imminent threats, which could be natural or man-made. When the sirens sound, go inside a sturdy structure, check local radio or tv stations, alert apps, or weather radios to get instructions. Those could be: go to a basement, shelter-in-place, or evacuate the area. Both Harrison and Stukey will be guests on KMAN’s In Focus on Thursday, September 29th at 9:00 a.m. Sign up for notifications from Riley County at