CENTRAL HURON EMERGENCY ALERT SIREN
Clinton is fortunate to have the first Emergency Alert Siren in Ontario as part of a pilot project which may eventually see the whole of Huron County similarly equipped.
The town’s fire siren has been adapted to produce a distinct tone to warn people of an immediately pending event for which they should seek safe shelter as quickly as possible. Most people would identify this siren as a tornado warning system, but there could be other situations as well that would required the same safety measures.
A solid tone (wail) has been chosen so it will not be confused with a fire siren or any other emergency vehicle (police, fire, ambulance) responding to an incident.
When the Emergency Alert Siren is sounded, it will wind up to its peak level and remain there for three minutes. It will then wind down, pause for thirty seconds, and then repeat the process two more times. In total, it will sound over a period of approximately ten minutes.
It must be emphasized that this siren is NOT an invitation to go outside to see what is happening, but is rather a WARNING that a catastrophic event is liable to happen in the next few minutes. Take shelter immediately.
Residents are encouraged to take a few moments to pre-plan their actions. Where is the safest place to go to in your home or place of business should a tornado or other life threatening emergency occur? Do you have a portable radio in this safe location to monitor what is happening outside? What about a supply of water if the rescue effort is delayed or the impacted area is inaccessible? Do you have a whistle or some other device to create noise to help rescuers locate you? Please remember that Emergency Management Ontario strongly recommends that you should be self sustaining for the first seventy two hours while resources are assembled and put into action.
The normal up and down wail of the fire siren will be used to signal “all clear” when it is safe to come out again. Having said that, at least fifteen minutes must be given before that siren signals all clear. A fire siren tone before that fifteen minute time lapse will be a call out for a fire department response and it may not yet be safe to move. Remember, at least “FIFTEEN MINUTES” and possibly more will be needed to ensure safety.
A test of the system is planned and will occur over two consecutive days. The first will be on a Friday at noon and the second will be the Saturday also at noon. This will be done so both people who only work in town and those who normally work out of town will have the opportunity to hear what it sounds like. Notification of when the test will be performed will be done through the local media.
While we understand a test may be an inconvenience to some people but it is important that everyone possible be aware of the potential for the Emergency Alert Siren’s use. Having said that, we sincerely hope it will never have to be used for a real emergency.
Stay safe and Be Prepared.