Outdoor Warning Sirens Used for More Than Just Tornadoes [AUDIO]
Folks around Casper have been hearing the outdoor warning sirens more than they have in years past. The Natrona County Emergency Management Office wants to remind citizens that the sirens are not only used for tornadoes, but for other severe weather or disasters as well.
Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods- those are the three big weather events that will set off the sirens in Natrona County, but it isn’t just weather that the sirens are used for. They could also alert the public in case of a chemical or hazardous material release- such as a truck, train or pipeline accident.
And while some of the sirens were implemented about four years ago, others, like the downtown sirens, have only been around for a few weeks.
According to Natrona Country Emergency Management Coordinator Stew Anderson, the downtown sirens were installed because they saw a need for them in the area.
Along with the increase in the number of sirens, people are also hearing them more frequently because of a high number of severe thunderstorms over the past few weeks.
Anderson says that they can set the sirens to go off individually so that the alert will only be heard in the areas where severe weather is being reported.
“We only put it out when the weather service determines that it’s reached that severe category,” Anderson said. “We only activate those sirens for the area that the weather service says that storm is or where they actually draw the box for that warning area.”
The siren sound is followed by an announcement of the weather event in the area.
“The sound is to get their attention. If they’re close enough to understand the voice- great. If they can’t understand that voice, at least they are getting that siren sound as a warning that they need to seek more information,” said Anderson.
You can find that information right here on K2 Radio. Once the weather has passed, an air horn type sound will be broadcast over the sirens to indicate the area is all clear.