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Sirens crucial in keeping area safe

When we think of natural disasters, hurricanes and floods often come to mind.

More exponentially terrifying, however, are tornados that descend from the sky with little warning and furiously claw their way across the land, destroying property and lives.

Tornados are a fact of life in our corner of the world, but when they strike, forewarning can mean the difference between getting out of harm’s way and being hit head-on with one of nature’s more powerful forces.

With those warnings, split seconds can often mean the difference between life and death.

To that end, the news that Adams County received grant funding to help pay for four more outdoor warning sirens is welcome.

When the four new sirens are installed, that will bring the county’s total to 18 sirens.

Just a few years ago, Adams County only had a handful of such warning sirens, and they were not well-maintained.

We applaud the efforts of Adams County Emergency Management Director Stan Owens for aggressively pursuing the grant funding and expanding the area covered by the outdoor sirens.

Beyond routine testing, which is always performed on clear days, the sirens are intended to give people outside a quick notification that a threat is looming.

The sirens mean residents need to move inside, seek shelter and get information about the impending threat — be it a tornado, chemical spill or other hazardous situation.

While the sirens may not reach all parts of our community and such warnings are only good if not only heard, but also heeded, they’re a valuable addition to the safety and security of county residents. That’s good government at work — providing safety warnings that otherwise would not be available.