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Time now for action on weather alert plan

Tornado time is upon us for another year.

     And also for another year, Brookhaven and Lincoln County remain without weather alert systems for such emergencies.

     Brookhaven officials have set aside funding to purchase a weather siren, but the possibility of getting a matching grant in order to use that money to obtain multiple sirens has stalled those efforts. We understand grant-related paperwork is in the process of being approved.

     In the county, the Board of Supervisors is again talking about the issue. It came up during last week’s Lincoln County board meeting.

     “We’re no better off than we were a day before Hurricane Katrina,” District Three Supervisor and Board President Nolan Earl Williamson said about a lack of improvement in emergency communications since the 2005 natural disaster.

     From sirens to some form of text-messaging system, city and county officials have discussed a variety of weather alert mechanisms. The discussion seems to come up every year.

     But so far, the discussions appear to have yielded little more than that: just talk.

     The time for talk is over.

     Action toward implementing a weather alert system, whether that be in the form of text warnings, sirens or some other method that reaches the broadest audience possible, is needed now.

     It will be too late when the tornado’s winds are past and homes, buildings and people’s lives lie in rubble.