Confused Residents Call 911 When Sirens Activated During Storm

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

The Johnson County Dispatch Center

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Two years after Johnson County Emergency Managers changed their outdoor siren policy, people continue to call 911 after the sirens are activated. Late Sunday night dispatchers received around 50 calls in two hour span, many from confused residents after the sirens were activated county-wide at 11 p.m.

The outdoor siren system is activated for any storm that threatens winds of 70 miles-an-hour or greater, and or, produces golf-ball sized hail.

"Calls to 911 can tie up our dispatchers from handling real emergencies," said Tom Jones, executive director of the Johnson County Joint Emergency Communications Center.

With another round of storms expected Monday, dispatchers are expecting more calls.

"People should go indoors, go in the basement and get information from local media," Jones said.

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