Siren test slated Saturday in cityPublished 2:00pm Friday, November 8, 2013
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City residents, be advised, the blaring sirens you’ll hear Saturday at noon, for approximately three minutes, or 180 seconds, are the long-awaited emergency weather sirens being tested city-wide.
Earlier in the week, upon a request by the board of aldermen, the sirens sounded for the first time Tuesday night, a noisy but joyous occasion for city officials who have waited years for the alert system.
Now, in addition to the sounds of a rumbling train through town, residents can expect to hear the sirens being tested every Saturday at noon, provided there’s clear weather said Clifford Galey, director of the Lincoln County Civil Defense and Emergency Management Department.
Galey’s department will not sound the sirens in the case of stormy, or even overcast weather, to ensure city citizens do not become alarmed unnecessarily.
There are five sirens in total that are strategically dispersed throughout the city.
The sirens are positioned in a way that ensures that any residents that are outside will hear them.
The sirens are specifically an outdoor weather alert system, said Galey.
“These sirens aren’t meant to be heard indoors, rather, they are meant to alert residents who are outside to seek shelter immediately,” Galey advised.
Galey says a team of trained storm spotters will notify emergency management officials if they spot a tornado. The management department, or 911 dispatch, will then sound the sirens.
Galey also advises residents to equip themselves with a weather radio, to get as much information as possible in the event of hazardous weather conditions.
Residents can receive text messages alerting them of impending bad weather from any of the three major news broadcasts in Jackson including WLBT, WJTV and WAPT, Galey noted.
Galey also said the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency website is another source of reliable weather information.
Currently, city and county officials receive text messages from Galey in the event of hazardous weather, in order to put into place storm protocols that can help city citizens find shelter and/or related resources.