On Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 4:00 p.m., the Calhoun County EMA and the Talladega County EMA attempted to activate their outdoor warning sirens in order to perform a routine monthly test.
This test activation occurs on the first Tuesday of every month at 4:00 p.m. in both counties, weather permitting. The counties operate independent siren activation systems, and both systems must communicate with the two-county 800 megahertz system in order to operate. During the test, a potential problem was identified with the ability of both counties to simultaneously activate their outdoor warning sirens.
As a result, sirens may fail to activate if one or more tornado warnings is issued for both counties at the same time. Calhoun and Talladega Counties are working with the siren system’s installer to address the problem.
As always, both county EMA’s are urging residents to use as many methods as possible to receive tornado warnings and other emergency information. Some easy ways for people to receive warnings include:
• Use a NOAA Weather Radio — change the batteries whenever you change the batteries in your smoke detectors — weather radios are available at most places which sell electronics and can be
purchased for $20-$30
• Sign up for NIXLE text message and email alerts. Visit www.nixle.com to sign up. NIXLE is free to use.
• Sign up for Alabama SAF-T-NET to receive text message and email alerts by visiting www.alabamasaftnet.com — Alabama SAF-T-Net is free to use and is the method recommended by most TV stations in Alabama.
• Follow your EMA’s on Facebook and Twitter at @BeReadyCalhoun and @ReadyTalladega
• Always have a battery powered radio available to use in case your power goes off or your cell phone battery dies. Local stations to monitor during an emergency include WVOK-FM 97.9, WCKA-AM 810, WFXO-FM 98.3 and WTDR Thunder 92.7.
Calhoun and Talladega counties are working with the siren system7s installer to address the problem.
At this time, there is no estimated date for repair and noimmediate solutions have been offered by the installer.
The two county EMA’s, their respective county commissions, and the Talladega Siren Sustainment Committee are working diligently with the installer to identify any possible solutions and will provide more information as it becomes available.