The Siren Board

Discussion of Outdoor Warning Systems
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:01 pm 
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Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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St. Clair County is removing sirens after silencing the system earlier this year. I've seen a Fin-Back Vortex mixed in with the Whelen Omni's.

The Fin-Back Vortex in Harpersville, Alabama was also removed over the summer. They also gave weather radios out in the community.

Pelham, Alabama announced plans to remove their system years ago. They've started removing some of the sirens. The modulators (Minus the Amphitheater Siren), thunderbeams, and STH-10s are gone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvHYmyD2YW8 The 2001s are still up but have not been tested in a few years.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:28 am 
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Real Name: Tyler Brasher
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Bama2001 wrote: *
Pelham, Alabama announced plans to remove their system years ago. They've started removing some of the sirens. The modulators (Minus the Amphitheater Siren), thunderbeams, and STH-10s are gone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvHYmyD2YW8 The 2001s are still up but have not been tested in a few years.
I'm curious as to what they did with the sirens. I kinda want the 1004 that was off of I-65.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:25 pm 
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Real Name: Matthew Herbert
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I guess James Spann is happy.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:43 pm 
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metalstorm wrote: *
I guess James Spann is happy.
Yes, I am afraid you're correct. He is a great TV meteorologist, but very anti-siren. IMHO, I think sirens are a key component in local warning systems. While I believe every means should be used to alert people in danger, outdoor warning sirens still have real-time value, and can be triggered by the local EOC or 9-1-1 PSAP, minutes before an official warning is sent over broadcast media. When you're up against a fast moving tornado, or downwind from a vapor cloud spewing from a derailed train moving towards your neighborhood, EVERY second counts.

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"When your siren's a failin', chances are it's a Whelen."


Last edited by 500AT on Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:48 pm 
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Real Name: Nik VW
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I don't entirely get people who say sirens are 'outdated' and replace their systems with reverse 911. My county did this, and our cell coverage outside of the city is very sparse, and many of the alerts sent through the cell service don't make it to my phone until I leave home.

In my opinion: sirens are a good service to compliment a reverse 911 system or other means of notifications, in no way are sirens obsolete or outdated, and nearly every siren out there can be retro-fitted with newer technology to make them compatible and modern. People (especially those in the field of weather reporting) who say that sirens are useless are sadly mistaken, and should do research into how they can help compliment other systems. Just using one means of warning people (reverse 911, weather radios, police vehicles, etc) is not enough in the slightest, and more than one system is needed for a fallback.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:32 pm 
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Real Name: Matthew Herbert
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It's quite irritating when meteorologists and EMs downplay the effectiveness of sirens. Maybe city and county leaders should be held accountable for letting their systems fall into disrepair. I've noticed many of these leaders greatly exaggerate the cost of new sirens with some claiming 50 grand a piece. Even a 2910 on a metal pole is "only" $30,000. Some Sentry's electromechanicals can be obtained turnkey for half that. Even with the cell phone warnings, and traditional media alerts that happen during tornado warnings there is still no other type of warning system that gets the attention of large portions of a given area's population faster than a well maintained siren system. While James Spann is a great meteorologist and an excellent communicator on air, but I find his anti siren rhetoric bordering on dangerous. There is the possibility that some of his viewers may get the impression that an outdoor warning siren should be ignored.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:01 pm 
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Real Name: Jack Tischer
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I do agree that sirens do play a key role in an outdoor warning system. A person could be visiting that place for a trip and possibly does not know the weather and has their phone away from them. Or they do not have a NOAA Weather radio with them. Then who would know if there were no sirens? I mean, people should be able to spot storm clouds, but what happens if they don't notice? Municipalities should have a good mix of warning systems. Sirens and reverse 911 are good options to make everyone aware of the sirens.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:15 pm 
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Reverse 911 is not very good for short fuse situations. Repeated calls long after the threat has passed or people never receiving them is a common complaint. Reverse 911 is more effective for flood or fire evacuations. The standard alerts that come with all cell phones nowadays is far more effective. But people are outside a lot. Not near the NOAA radio, TV, and may not hear their phone in their pocket. This is where well maintained sirens are critical. Although the standard disclaimer is "they're only meant to be heard outdoors" the fact is many hear them inside as well. The population of the area where the sirans are located should be reminded twice a year what the sirens mean. Mailers attached to utility bills would help a lot. These communities removing their systems are doing their populations a real disservice.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:55 am 
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metalstorm wrote: *
Reverse 911 is not very good for short fuse situations. Repeated calls long after the threat has passed or people never receiving them is a common complaint. Reverse 911 is more effective for flood or fire evacuations. The standard alerts that come with all cell phones nowadays is far more effective. But people are outside a lot. Not near the NOAA radio, TV, and may not hear their phone in their pocket. This is where well maintained sirens are critical. Although the standard disclaimer is "they're only meant to be heard outdoors" the fact is many hear them inside as well. The population of the area where the sirans are located should be reminded twice a year what the sirens mean. Mailers attached to utility bills would help a lot. These communities removing their systems are doing their populations a real disservice.
In a PBS Frontline documentary on the Camp Fire in California that completely destroyed the town of Paradise, it was noted the county had a CodeRED R911 system. That morning, they didn’t use it; instead using an option that alerts people zone by zone for evacuation orders. Over half the residents signed up never received the notification; and this contributed to several fatalities in the fire.

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My YouTube Channel | Summit County Siren Map | Cuyahoga County Siren Map


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