The Do 1 Thing site won the Awareness to Action category of FEMA’s 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. It’s a 12-month program of small steps that you can take to increase your personal and household preparedness. Throughout 2015, DEM will feature Do 1 Thing items during our weekly blog post series of One Thing Wednesdays. Check back here every week for a new preparedness activity or tip!
Knowing what to do in an emergency – where to go, what actions to take, when to activate your household emergency plan – relies on having correct, timely information. In a disaster, how will you get that information and make sure everyone in your family has it? Throughout September, we’ll be looking at various issues in disaster information and communications.
Last week, we talked about the importance of having a NOAA all-hazards weather radio for your home and workplace. But what if you’re outdoors when severe weather threatens, away from your radio? In Fayette County, that’s where our network of outdoor warning sirens takes over.
From our offices at stately DEM Manor, we manage 28 outdoor warning sirens located in parks throughout the county. In the event of a tornado, severe thunderstorm, or other community emergency, these sirens provide audible alerts for citizens who are outdoors near these parks. The sirens will be activated around the clock for tornado warnings, and between 6:00 am and midnight for a tornado watch, severe thunderstorm warning, chemical hazard, or other emergency.
For a monthly function test, a severe thunderstorm warning, or a tornado watch, the sirens will play the Westminster chimes (click to listen). For a tornado warning, we use a steady alert tone (click to listen). For another emergency requiring you to evacuate or shelter in place, the sirens play a wail (click to listen) followed by verbal instructions.
Depending on weather conditions, you may be able to hear the sirens up to a half-mile away. It’s important to remember that the sirens are designed to be heard outdoors only. If they were audible indoors, we’d deafen everyone in the parks every time we tested them. So please – don’t rely on the sirens for indoor warning of severe weather. Get a NOAA weather radio for that half of the equation!
For more information on the sirens, read our page of frequently-asked questions (FAQs).