Georgetown postpones testing for warning sirens

Outdoor warning siren in Georgetown. (City of Georgetown)
Outdoor warning siren in Georgetown. (City of Georgetown)

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — If you’re outside when severe weather hits, warning sirens are supposed to alert you to seek shelter. The city of Georgetown says their sirens will work during an emergency, even though they aren’t being fully tested like they were supposed to this weekend.

The city was supposed to sound their 23 new sirens on Saturday, testing them for the first time, but because of possible severe weather, they won’t. “So we don’t send any kind of message to the community to create fear,” explains Georgetown’s emergency management and homeland security coordinator Chad Berg.

Berg says a contractor will still test the sirens over the next two days, without the full sound. “It tests all the components of the siren, all the way down to the head of the siren itself, and so without having to audibly test it, we know for sure they will go off.”

If you see a siren rotate, or hear a short noise this week, Berg says it’s just part of the test. During an emergency, the sirens will sound for at least 90 seconds.

The City’s Office of Emergency Management will activate the warning system when:

  • The National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning with destructive winds in excess of 70 miles per hour or a tornado warning for areas within or around the City.
  • Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado in the City of Georgetown or in areas that could potentially affect the City of Georgetown.
  • Trained storm spotters have reported hail 1.25 inches in diameter or greater.
  • A chemical emergency is present.

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