The people around Gaylord were given eight minutes of warning time from when the tornado was spotted on radar, to when it hit the ground. Officials in the area say that time saved lives.
Photo Courtesy: AnxietyOnTheRun
People in the area were alerted by the county’s CodeRed alert system.
Otsego County has never had true tornado sirens, like many communities. Otsego County Emergency Manager John Deming said the influx of cell phones and devices makes the county-wide alert system the safest and most efficient option.
“To have those individual sirens, properly placed in residential areas, if you were in a big building you wouldn’t hear it. It’s just not sound penetrating enough,” said Deming, “And when you heard it, what is it? It doesn’t tell you, it’s just a noise. Now you’re getting all the information you need, like on Friday, we have a tornado, take cover now.”
The county said the alert system can be used for anything from weather, fire or boil water advisory.