Citizen Alert Siren System Coming to Wicomico County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Citizen Alert Siren System Coming to Wicomico County


WICOMICO COUNTY, Md.- Coming on September 11th, Wicomico County will be implementing a new emergency alert system to warn residents of imminent danger, like a tornado warning.  The system will be utilizing 15 sirens already in place throughout the county to warn local people.

It is a new idea and new system that Kelly Heath of Delmar is excited to see put into place.

"It is a great idea.  That way people, I mean, if we do have a tornado touchdown, it will allow them to get out of harm's way.  Get into the house, get to shelter or whatever."

The new system will use 13 sirens that exist at various local fire departments and two others that are maintained by the county emergency services department.  The alert tone will sound for two minutes straight in the event of approaching danger. 

A siren system is also used to alert volunteer firefighters and when that sounds, the siren goes high and low or up and down.  Despite the difference, David Lockley of Salisbury believes an extra adjustment will make all the difference to ensure people get the right message.

"I think you need to make it a different sound all together.  You know, because, if not, they are not going to be able to distinguish between the two."

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 also sounds every first Monday of the month at 7:30 PM as a test.  However, if residents do hear the two minute siren after September 11th, seek shelter and tune into WBOC for the latest information.

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