Genesee Township residents say tornado sirens never activated during storm

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GENESEE TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (3/15/2019) - A Genesee Township man who lives just a half mile from Camelot Villa where strong straight line winds damaged at least 15 homes, said he didn't hear the emergency alert siren.

Chris McCarthy is grateful he's okay, but said something's gotta change for next time.

"I had the TV on in the living room, heard the emergency alert sound go off, you know, just assumed it was one of the monthly tests," he explained. "I went out there looked at it and saw a tornado warning for Shiawassee and Genesee Counties. Didn't hear any sirens, no alerts on my phones or anything."

So, McCarthy said he had to become the emergency siren for his neighbors. They didn't hear it either.

And, he added he's glad he had his TV on normal programming. Because he said, had he been watching on an app like Netflix, no warning would've come through.

So why didn't hear the siren?

Genesee County 9-1-1 is trying to figure that out.

Director Spring Tremaine said they haven't heard from anyone who confirmed the two in town went off, so they can't say.

The two are older versions, what are called 'one ways'. So, there's also no ability with their system to confirm the alarm sounded.

They're both south of McCarthy's home -- one about a mile, the other nearly 6 miles away.

Tremaine explained one way to make sure you're notified is sign up for Smart 9-1-1 and RAVE alerts. She said check the box to get alerts from the National Weather Service and you will get a text notification of any severe weather event.

"Whether it be a storm or a tornado or something like that, they will notify you via your cell phone' and it did work for many of my folks," she said. "So, I know it does work. And then, you're right, we can put it off as well - set off the RAVE alerts; but, we don't often have the time to do it because we're busy with the tornado sirens themselves."

To sign up, click on the 'Related Links' section of this story.

And of course, you can always trust us on air and online to bring you the latest on any severe weather event.

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