Emergency test today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Today’s forecast is expected to bring cloudy skies, a possible thunderstorm and a test on the local weather sirens.

To strengthen the nation’s preparedness and resiliency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct the first nation-wide test of the Emergency Alert System today at 1 p.m. County EMA Director Susan Harris said Covington County will participate in that test.

Harris said despite the dreary weather forecast of a 30 percent chance of showers throughout the day, residents shouldn’t confuse the day’s siren for a tornado siren.

“At 1 p.m., we will activate the 21 outside warning sirens,” Harris said. “It will not be the familiar tornado siren. It will be the second sound you hear every first Wednesday of each month. This is the Covington County Alert Siren, and when you hear this sound, you should immediately tune to the radio stations to get further information on how to respond.”

Harris said testing the EAS plays a key role in “evaluating and improving the systems we need in place to ensure our nation is prepared for all hazards” and that people are able to receive critical and vital information through the system, should it ever be needed.