East Hawaii News

Monthly Siren Test to Be Held Friday at 11:45 a.m.

January 31, 2013, 12:56 PM HST
* Updated January 31, 10:39 PM
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***Updated at 4:15 p.m.***

The regular monthly test of the statewide Civil Defense outdoor siren warning system is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1, at 11:45 a.m.

It will be coordinated with the test of the live audio broadcast segment of the Emergency Alert System on radio and television.

Tests of civil defense sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, normally on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcasting industry.  Civil defense disaster preparedness information is located in the front section of telephone directories in all counties.

The county has been working to repair and in some cases replace some siren components after a test in November found that 13 of the 71 units on the Big Island failed to sound.

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Civil Defense chief Darryl Oliveira said today that in the most recent test in January only three of the island’s sirens failed. Those were located at the county’s public works baseyard, at Hilo’s Carvalho Park and at Laupahoehoe Point.

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Oliveira said the latest test showed improvement, but more is needed.

“Hopefully tomorrow they will all work,” he said.

There have also been instances over the past two months where sirens sounded unexpectedly. In at least one of those cases, the problem was attributed to an insect infestation.

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Oliveira said his department is considering ways to notify the public and media when such events occur to let them know that an emergency has not occurred.

The siren test is a steady one-minute tone on all sirens. The steady tone is used to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life and property. Besides natural hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

When the siren signal is sounded in your area, tune to any local radio or television station for emergency information and instructions broadcast by civil defense agencies. Participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of what the sirens mean, as well as other related information, during the monthly test.

Issues with siren operations, including malfunctioning sirens, can be reported to Hawaii County Civil Defense at 935-0031.

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