Last updateTue, 27 Jan 2015 9am

New storm siren working better than expected

According to a report presented by the city’s emergency preparedness director, the new storm siren that was recently purchased is working just fine.

Rodney Neff addressed the city council at last week’s meeting to announce that the siren had been installed and put to its first test during the city’s regular siren testing conducted at the beginning of each month.

According to Neff, not only is the new siren working, it is exceeding everyone’s expectations. “It has a very large range, bigger than we expected,” he said. “People said they could hear it the other side of Walmart, and some people said they could hear it much better than the old sirens that are closer to them. It worked very well.”

The council agreed last fall to purchase a new storm siren, part of a three-phase plan to replace the outdated emergency alert system the city currently has in place. Three sirens are to be purchased over a three-year period, and this was the first of the sirens installed under that plan.

Neff also stated in his address to the council that he had been in contact with the State Emergency Management Agency regarding the city’s disaster mitigation plan. The plan is close to being finalized and is in the latter draft stage. He said once it is finished, it can then be formally adopted by the council through passage of a city ordinance.

Neff further reported that a mock disaster training exercise took place on January 19 with involvement of several departments and outside agencies. He called the training a success, and much was learned from it that can be used in an actual disaster situation.

He added that the new communication radios have all been purchased and implemented as previously discussed.