In 2002, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana led an important project: buying and installing early-warning sirens for Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties.
These are the sirens used to warn residents of tornadoes or other emergencies, and alert listeners to tune into radio and television reports for more information. Through early-warning sirens, thousands of lives are saved each year across the nation, and the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana wanted to see Hoosiers in our area protected from threatening weather as much as possible.
To get the project started, the Community Foundation pledged $100,000 to each county we serve. Other community leaders stepped in and pledged money in the three counties, and, with the leadership of Mike Newman, Chair, and John Belski, Honorary Chair, the project was soon off the ground.
Sirens were soon installed in each county by Federal Signal. The project’s total cost was $1,184,900 for 64 sirens in three counties plus the costs of software, training and installation. Because of the efforts of the three counties working together, $282,510 was saved in total cost.
Just a few short years later, the sirens were put to their first true test. In 2005, when tornadoes hit Marengo, Clarksville, Jeffersonville and surrounding cities; and again on March 2, 2012 when tornadoes struck Henryville and surrounding communities, the sirens no doubt saved lives as they warned residents to take cover.