According to the Elmore County Emergency Management Agency & Homeland Security (EMA/HS) Office, a major enhancement to the County's emergency warning network is precipitating the need to conduct out-of-cycle testing of the All-Hazards Outdoor Warning Sirens within the county.
Sirens are routinely functionally tested the first Wednesday of the month, weather permitting, at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. in Millbrook). However, on Thursday, July 11th, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., weather permitting, 58 of Elmore County's 60 All-Hazards Sirens will undergo functional testing based on the activation of a new Polygon Warning System.
The new Polygon Warning System allows for more area-specific alerting of all those persons living in, working in, visiting, or merely travelling through specifically impacted areas of Elmore County, during times of TORNADO WARNINGS. In other words, instead of every siren in the county being activated during a tornado warning, only sirens servicing the projected impacted area(s) (in the polygon), in the direct and projected path of the storm, will be activated.
As always, sirens are activated once the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, allowing for as much advanced warning as possible to alert people outdoors to get indoors to their safe place, out of harm's way, as quickly as possible.
The Polygon Warning System is designed to increase the effectiveness of the County's All-Hazards Outdoor Warning Siren capability. Providing more area-specific, targeted warnings should help combat "complacency toward taking action steps"—a normal but dangerous response anytime the public perceives it is being "over-warned."
At the same time, the additional Polygon Warning System capability may also help increase the probability of survivability and reduce some degree of preventable property damage. By more narrowly focusing alerts on only those areas directly in the projected path of the storm (in the polygon), people are more likely to take the warnings serious and respond with those time-critical, life-saving, property-preserving action steps. Again, instead of sirens sounding county-wide with every tornado warning, now, only those sirens servicing the specifically-warned area(s), those within the polygon, will be activated.
A final word about the All-Hazards Outdoor Warning Sirens…they are but ONE capability in the alert and warning notifications network, designed specifically to alert all those who can hear them to take two Initial Action Steps:
1) If outdoors, move indoors to a sturdy, protective shelter ASAP (As Soon As Possible), and
2) Seek the proper information to find out WHY the siren is going off (Severe weather is obvious most of the time but, a hazardous materials spill in not! Find out what's going on.)
For additional information please call the Elmore County EMA/HS Office at 334-567-6451.
1720 Valley View Drive