New Emergency Alert System Coming to Wicomico County

On September 11, Wicomico County will launch a new emergency alert system that will be used to notify residents and visitors of imminent hazards, such as tornado warnings.

From Wicomico County’s announcement,

The specific emergency alerts will be broadcast over any or all of the 13 sirens located at local fire departments and the two maintained by the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services. Wicomico’s siren system can be activated for either the entire county or for specific affected areas. In the event of an imminent hazard the alert tone – which differs from fire station alarms – will sound for a sustained 2 minutes. When the sirens sound, citizens should seek shelter immediately and then tune into local news media for additional information. Citizens should not call 9-1-1 to determine the hazard causing the activation.

From WBOC 16’s article,

County officials said this is being put in place in preparation for the worst.  But, the best case scenario is the system not getting much use at all.

“These are for imminent threats.  We hope that this is hardly ever used.  We do not want people to, as they say “cry wolf” and hear a siren and then not take the appropriate actions to find out what is going on,” said David Shipley, the Director of Emergency Services in the county.

The siren will be tested at 7:30 pm on the first Monday of every month.  During the monthly test, the sirens will emit a single 10 second sustained alert tone.  Following September 11, in the event of a disaster, the alert tone will sound for a sustained 2 minutes.
Visit Wicomico County’s website for more information.


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