Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

June 8, 2014

A warning about warnings

--- — In the late 1990s, a devastating storm ravaged South Georgia. Residents received few warnings of the storm’s trajectory.

In its aftermath, a more comprehensive system was created to alert South Georgia residents of thunderstorms, high winds, tornadoes and other potential weather emergencies.

The system has worked well. Perhaps, it has worked too well.

Anyone regularly watching TV during this time of year knows to expect National Weather Service advisories. These warnings trace thunderstorms and other activities near and far. Sometimes, perhaps, too far. Often people receive warnings that never directly touch their county but do touch other counties in a viewing area.

Often, if the non-warning county receives any repercussion from the weather, it is some rumbling thunder, a few lightning flashes and some rain.

Yet, the non-affected areas hear the repeated warnings as often as the affected counties. Possibly so often that we may hear them, but we may no longer listen to them.

Given these repeated warnings, one expects Armageddon.

Or worse, we expect nothing at all.

With these warnings sounding almost every time South Georgia receives rainfall, most folks may ignore them all together. Many folks likely curse the repeated interruptions of their television shows rather than listen to the latest warning of what will turn out to be a little bit of rain.

The warning system has become something akin to the boy who cries wolf. We have heard it so often, for so long, with so little weather as a result, many may view it more as an intrusive false alarm rather than a real reason to be alert.

There must be a better way of assessing the need of these warnings, or a better way to broadcast them than the current method where people turn off the TV or radio to escape their repeated blaring interruptions. It’s similar to car alarms — few people pay attention to them any more because they so often sound a false alarm.

It all becomes background noise, which could be the ignored soundtrack to disaster

 Too many warnings may prove as dangerous as no early-warning system at all.

Text Only
What We Think
  • Regional shopping makes sense

    This weekend is the tax-free holiday in Georgia.

    July 31, 2014

  • Focus now on what lies within

    Forty-three years ago the federal mandate to desegregate Valdosta City Schools was necessary.

    July 30, 2014

  • The Times belongs to you

    The Valdosta Daily Times belongs to you. As we move forward with new leadership in our newsroom, we want you to know about our continued commitment to the communities we serve.

    July 28, 2014

  • The art of plenty to do

    In Sunday’s paper, readers found an extensive list of shows, exhibits, concerts and more for the upcoming arts seasons in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

    July 27, 2014

  • The power of One

    Christine Batson wondered the same thing that many people wonder.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thumbs Up

    THUMBS UP: To Air Force Lt. Col. David Rayman. The 75th Fighter Squadron commander recently logged 3,000 flight hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. A rare feat. In presenting a Moody Air Force Base story on his accomplishment in The Times, it’s good to see the face and know the name of one of the many pilots who cross our South Georgia skies. Congratulations on 3,000 and thank you for your service.

    July 26, 2014

  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Runoff election counts today

    Today is an election day that started just a little more than two months ago.

    July 21, 2014

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results