Despite the National Weather Service determining late Friday that a tornado did touch down in Douglas County during a storm last week, the head of Douglas County Emergency Management said the local criteria for activating the tornado sirens were not met.
"The policy dictates we activate the sirens upon local determination of a tornado threat," Teri Smith said. "The decision was based on the best information available Friday morning, including communications with the National Weather Service."
But now the emergency management office is asking its advisory board to review the policy to determine whether it needs revision. The Local Emergency Planning Committee is made up of representatives of Douglas County's major communities, emergency responders, schools, businesses, utilities and other nongovernmental organizations such as the Salvation Army.
This review has happened before - including after the 2006 microburst - but no changes to the policy have been recommended. Smith said residents who are interested in seeing changes to the policy can work through her to make those thoughts heard to the board.
"We've accepted phone calls and e-mails that we are going to pass along to our board," Smith said. "We'll let them know the citizens are concerned."
Smith said she's receiving a number of calls and e-mails since Friday and that e-mail is the best way going forward to try to make those views heard.
Smith's e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The full Local Emergency Management Committee meets at 8 a.m. Thursday in Building 21 of the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds.