BEATRICE – Local officials and county emergency management are considering placement of an additional outdoor warning siren in the vicinity of Beatrice Community Hospital.

"As the city of Beatrice advances north...the nearest north siren for tornado awareness is located right by the sale barn (Beatrice 77 Livestock)", says Gage County Emergency Management Coordinator Lisa Wiegand. She says there’s a bit of a void in sound coverage farther north….as the city has grown in that direction.

"I got some preliminary costs on placing a siren there. I've been working with some partnerships along with the City of Beatrice, where we could put that. The cost overall, is probably going to be around that $35,000 range."

Wiegand says the emergency management budget has some money designated for the project, but federal mitigation funding for sirens is off in the distance. Some funding help from local partners is one option.  Sirens are meant to be an outdoor…..not indoor notifier of the public in times of severe weather….and if the siren is added in the future….a larger area would be covered at the north edge of the city.

"That would cover quite a bit....would go up, basically with the dba's being Case I-H or to the truck stop...which is how it looked....and then would fill that gap to the south and also to the west", Wiegand said.

Gage County has several outdoor warning sirens. In recent years, Southeast Communications and Gage County Emergency Management has had the ability to activate sirens only in those areas seeing an immediate weather threat…rather than setting off all of the sirens…even in areas not under weather warnings.

The hope is to establish a site for the new siren sometime in the first quarter of next year.