BEAUFORT, Sc. (WSAV) – Tornado sirens were heard throughout Tybee and Wilmington Island just before a tornado touched down Tuesday evening, but while there was a possibility of the tornado traveling north to Hilton Head Island, it was silent in Beaufort where there are no sirens.
Bob Bromage with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office says their primary communication in emergencies is through Nixle.
Nixle send texts messages and posts to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Twitter and Facebook, as well as an emergency management link on their website, but residents have to have access to them to get the information.
Chatham County has a total of sixty tornado sirens to alert residents with or without internet or cell service in emergencies.
Pamela Cobb with Beaufort County Disaster Recovery says “It’s actually something we’ve been trying to do for a while now.. Currently we have a projected in for federal review under the Hazard Mitigation Grant program… for a warning system to alert the public not just for tornadoes but any type of inclement weather that may be approaching.”
They submitted the grant proposal in 2015 after flooding in Beaufort County. It has since passed the state level and is now awaiting approval from the federal government.
Bromage says they also have access to FEMA’s “Integrated Public Alert and Warning System” that could broadcast any emergency information through all electronics such as phones, televisions and radios, but those warnings would go to all four counties in the area.
If you would like to sign up for Beaufort County’s Nixle program, click here.