One of the greatest bargains for Montgomery County residents is coming out of the Emergency Management Office.

For less than $15,000 per year, every phone listed in the white pages and the yellow pages will ring when a tornado warning sounds this spring. For that amount everyone in the county can register their cell phone and ask to be notified for one or all of 79 notifications

OK, so you say you would like to have an additional $15,000 in your pocket. So would I but I have seen the devastation that can come with tornadoes.

All we have to do is think about the Mother's Day tornado that tore through the county one Sunday morning back in the mid-1990s.

Harvey Keller worked for the Red Cross at the time and I followed him and went door to door, talking to people who lost so much and who had horrible stories to tell of the destruction. One man who lived near Nucor had his bed blown out of the house and when he was found, he was dazed, sitting on the edge of the bed in a field. He passed away not long after that.

I remember driving through what was left of parts of Elkhart County not long after twin twisters ravaged that area south of Elkhart in northern Indiana.

No, I think $15,000 spent on a warning system is very inexpensive for the good it can do, especially when compared to the $7 million budget for the county.

Frank has reported on the news, events and people of west-central Indiana for years. He can be contacted at