MO - Cable TV Storm Warning Failed at Crucial Moment : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Cable TV storm warning failed at a crucial moment By BILL GRAHAM - The Kansas City Star Date: 05/18/00 23:23

A cable television component of Kansas City's storm warning system failed last week when a tornado struck the Northland.

Mike Karl, the city's emergency management director, said Kansas City has a telephone override system that allows a printed message or a voice message to be delivered to Time Warner cable subscribers within the city.

The system is tested monthly and worked during a test on May 1, Karl said.

But it failed to work during the May 11 tornado because of a faulty telephone modem within the cable company's equipment, Karl said. It was repaired by the company the next day.

"It concerns me to think that it has worked OK but that when we were operating it, it failed," Karl said.

City Councilman Ed Ford said the lapse is a concern.

"I'm probably more concerned about that than I am the sirens, to be honest," Ford said.

Ford said he has called for a report on the siren system, in part because he thinks modern technology may offer better alternatives.

"In this case it was the 21st-century technology that didn't work," he said.

However Ford said residents would have to take some initiative when bad weather strikes.

"I think it is a trap for those who think government can and should warn them of every weather emergency," he said.

@tag1:To reach Bill Graham, call (816) 234-5906 or send e-mail to,local/377479a0.518,.html


-- (, May 19, 2000

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