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Community installs new tornado siren

Reported by: Jessica Albert
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Updated: 1/15 6:54 pm
RICHMOND, Miss. (WTVA) -- Geraldine Kimble lives near Richmond and makes sure to take every precaution when severe weather is moving through her area.

"I have a basement in my house. So, I can just go down in my basement if it gets bad enough, but I know lots of people don't," Kimble said.

That's why she and many others in the Richmond said the new tornado siren put in the community will be crucial come tornado season.

"We needed the sirens [so] we'll know that [a tornado is] coming round and we can prepare for it," Kimble said.

The siren was brought to Richmond from Nettleton after the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency gave the larger town a newer one.

"They're going to locate the sirens wherever you got a high population at," Lee County Emergency Management Director Lee Bowdry said.

The county plans to recycle the older sirens and use them to increase the county's coverage area.

"So, what we've done is taken our old sirens and move them out into our rural areas," Bowdry said.

The Richmond Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joe Banik said getting the siren up and running was a community effort.

"We've gotten some donations in from some of the community people. That's helped us a great deal and we're really excited about it," Banik said.

Now that it is up, it will further improve the area's emergency preparedness efforts.

"[We want] to try to help people to realize [not to] be scared to leave your house and go to a storm house when it's time," Banik said.

Which is important to him because he said there's no telling what could happen.

"We've had [some tornadoes] come close," Banik said. "Thank goodness we haven't had one directly hit us, but as a volunteer fire department, we need to be ready."

Chief Banik also said organization is key during severe weather events.
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