Two storm sirens didn't work when the tornado hit Bryan County last week

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BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. (KXII)- Bokchito residents Geretta and Ernest Hatcher's home was not in the tornado's path, but don't recall the last time the town's sirens were working.

"They've gone off once but it was some time ago," said Geretta Hatcher.

Dustin Barrett wasn't so lucky, his home is on Boyd Road in Blue, a fallen tree crushed his car as part of the tornado's path of destruction.

"This is tornado alley. If you live in this part of the country, I think it should be one of the big priorities that you maintain those so you can alert your citizens," said Barrett.

Bryan County Commissioner Ron Boyer says the county tested the sirens in April, but says the alarm in Bokchito wasn't working properly, and the alarm in Blue wasn't completely hooked up before the storm hit on April 30th.

He says the towns are responsible for the upkeep of the sirens.

"The cities or the townships are responsible for the maintenance. We notified them but they haven't been taken care of yet. The ownership is at the township level, so we don't have total jurisdiction to just go up there and do whatever we want to do with them," said Boyer.

Boyer says the sirens only have a range of up to a mile, and are really meant to warn people who are outside.

He says in severe weather, there are lots of ways to stay aware of what's going on, including TV and weather apps for smartphones.

"I'm looking at getting some type of grants that maybe we can get weather radios available to the residents," said Boyer.

"You never know how bad its going to be when it comes across," said Ernest Hatcher.