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Oak Lawn Ditches New Warning System After Complaints Following Storms

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OAK LAWN, Ill. (CBS) – After hearing numerous complaints about its new emergency warning system during and after Sunday’s storms, the village of Oak Lawn is going back to its old siren sound.

Oak Lawn Emergency Management Agency Cmdr. Art Clark said he saw postings on social media that the 7-month-old warning system in his village was either too loud, or too soft. Some people were upset there were four languages used to issue warnings, as well as the tone being the one you hear on radio emergency broadcast tests.

As a result, Oak Lawn is bringing the old siren sound back, Clark said.

The new sound had been used in monthly tests since April. Clark said there had been some complaints early on, especially of the use of Spanish, Polish, and Arabic language warnings in addition to English on the new system.

There also have been complaints that some people thought the sirens were too loud or too soft. There are six poles around Oak Lawn, each holding eight sirens.

Clark has applied for grants for two more poles for sirens.

However, Clark also reminded residents the village’s siren is only one way of being notified of severe weather, and that people should take advantage of as many of them as they can, including smartphone apps, systems that text or call warnings to your cellphone, or an NOAA weather radio.