(MOBILE, Ala.) City officials install tornado sirens to warn residents of upcoming severe weather.
But what happens if you do not have a siren nearby?
That's the problem in Mobile's District 6.
A few years ago the Emergency Management Agency did a study which revealed that in order to properly cover all of Mobile County with tornado sirens, it'd take 330 of them. Unfortunately, between the pricey maintenance and upkeep of sirens, coupled with the lack of federal dollars, officials say it's just too costly.
When tornadoes wreaked havoc during the Christmas season, 47 sirens located throughout Mobile County, warned folks of what was coming.
Most of the sirens are in the city not in outlying areas.
But in Mobile's District 6, which covers a big portion of West Mobile and contains 29,000 people, a siren doesn't exist.
So Local 15 asked the question, why isn't there a siren in District 6?
"District 6 is a fairly new area with a lot of new construction. Most of the original sirens were put there back in the civil defense days," replied David Roberts, EMA Electronics Officer. "There are probably a couple places where an outdoor siren would be a good fit there. I think Medal of Honor park has been mentioned."
Officials say the last time the county installed new sirens was in 2008.
"It always gets down to funding. The ones we like to use in an outdoor area that have voice capability cost about $30,000," said Roberts.
But regardless of whether you actually live near a tornado siren, officials say your best and safest bet is to purchase a weather radio.
"That weather radio will wake you up in the middle of the night. That's probably one of the best things you can have these days and even better than a siren because it will let you know not only about a tornado warning, but about a tornado watch," said Roberts.
Plus, because of the way homes are built these days, a lot of people don't hear the outdoor sirens.
"Most of your newer constructed homes, they all have excellent insulation," said Roberts.
Remember you can always download smart phone apps like Local 15's to keep you informed of severe weather events.
Also, Mobile County has an automated emergency notification system called First Call.
You can sign up for that through the county's website.