Calera installs new weather sirens

Published 5:07 pm Monday, December 15, 2008

The City of Calera recently installed four new weather sirens to notify residents of severe conditions.

The sirens are located at Calera Fire Station No. 2 on George Roy Parkway, Waterford water tower, Shelby Springs water tank and the corner of Highway 31 and County Road 67.

Deputy Chief Hilton Shirey of the Calera Fire Department said the sirens were purchased with a grant from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation program. Each siren cost an estimated $15,000.

Calera had only two sirens before the new ones were installed. Shirey said the city’s main intent is the community’s well-being.

When activated, the sirens alert residents to immediately take shelter and tune in to the local television or radio station for further information. In the event of severe weather, the sirens will run on a sustained solid tone for three to five minutes before shutting down.

To gauge the sirens’ reliability, the city conducts silent tests. Shirey said the sirens emit an inaudible tone that is read by a computer. An emergency dispatcher then reviews the computer results to make sure the sirens are glitch-free.

Shirey said the sirens better prepare the city against natural disasters.

“We got a majority of the city covered now,” Shirey said. “We would like to have some more sirens, but we’d probably have to wait for more grant monies to come up.”