No sirens in Ionia County, but officials say get your warnings elsewhere

Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 17:54:29-04

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. -- For some residents in parts of Ionia County, Monday night's storm came abruptly. Tornado sirens didn't sound.

Emergency management staff is still looking into the problem, which they couldn't identify to FOX 17 on Tuesday.

“A lot of these sirens are old," said Sgt. William Hoskins of Ionia County Emergency Management. "Across the country in a lot of areas they’re no longer using sirens. And in addition to that siren, we’re trying to use some modern technology, such as this RAVE system.”

RAVE stands for Relief After Violent Encounter, and the system allows residents to sign up for their Smart 911 program. Residents can customize RAVE for special needs or enter instructions for dispatchers. RAVE can alert you to dangerous weather via land line, cell phone, text message, or voice.

“You don’t have to have a smart phone," added Sgt. Hoskins. "When we send this message, we can send the message by text email or voice.”

As for the siren issue, officials in Lake Odessa and Ionia County will continue looking into it, but they are using this incident as an opportunity to remind locals that listening for a siren isn't their only option.