Teton County Emergency Management will be testing outdoor warning sirens June 5th through June 7th, 2019. Contractors will visit siren locations at Teton Village, Teton Pines, Wilson, downtown Jackson, Gregory Lane, and Adams Canyon to perform routine maintenance and ensure the sirens are operational. Those in the area may hear a few short bursts from these sirens, but for no longer than one minute at a time. Additionally, contractors will be installing an outdoor warning siren at Hoback Junction to replace a faulty siren that was previously located in the area.
An interactive map of outdoor warning siren locations along with estimated audible distances is available at https://bit.ly/2KfZ5dC. “Although we have computer models of where sirens can be heard, we’d really like to get feedback from the public to let us know where they can and can’t hear the sirens,” stated Rich Ochs, Coordinator for Teton County Emergency Management. Those that would like to report whether they heard a siren can fill out a short survey at https://arcg.is/0SPjfP.
Outdoor warning sirens are designed to do exactly what they state: warn people who are outdoors that something is wrong. They are not designed to penetrate inside of buildings, so residents shouldn’t expect to hear a siren clearly from indoors.
“Most people associate outdoor warning sirens with tornadoes,” says Ochs. “Our sirens are for all hazards and hearing a three-minute siren wail means that you should tune to local radio, All-Hazards Weather Radio, trusted online local media, or your phone for an alert to find out what is going on.”
“Sirens are part of our comprehensive public alerting system,” explains Ochs. In addition to sirens, Teton County Emergency Management can issue text/email alerts to subscribers with its Nixle notification system (www.nixle.com), alerts to all cell phones in Teton County with FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alerts, messages to local radio and television broadcasters via the Emergency Alert System, and through social media like Facebook (@teton.wy.ema). “The problem is when we lose internet, cell service, phone lines, or power, these systems won’t work. Sirens are resilient because they don’t use complicated infrastructure to operate.”