I have a HUGE confession to make. Get ready for me to spill the beans.

I have been in Lubbock for going on 40 years. About a year and a half ago Lubbock installed tornado sirens, and Texas Tech had them long before that. And now the confession, I have NEVER heard a tornado siren in this town, for a test or an emergency. Hmmm...it's almost like they really don't work at all unless you live right under one, right?

Today's test of the Lubbock tornado sirens (I'm not going to bother looking up whatever dumb name they've given this system) was canceled because we have a ten percent chance of rain or better. Think that through. Presumably, they don't test the sirens on days when there is even the slightest chance that they may need to use the sirens. They KNOW that the more you hear them, the more likely you are to ignore them, and thus the inherent problem with these sirens is revealed.

If became Mayor I certainly wouldn't say, "Let's tear down the tornado sirens", but I would make it very clear to everyone that these sirens are one very tiny tool in a giant toolbox of ways to keep Lubbock people safe. In fact, I think all money going forward should be used to reach people in the most logical and informative way possible, and that's over the phone. A blaring horn, if you can hear it, does not transmit any information at all. With an emergency activation or alert on your phone, you can know exactly what's happening and tune into radio and TV. to track things if you want. I would also say that it's safe to say that 99% of people age ten and over have a phone and the other 1% are near someone else who has one.

Sirens are just another sign that Lubbock needs to get its head out of 1950's thinking for 2023 problems.

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