New Warning System is operational in Greene County

Greene Co. EMA Director Hodges Smith

Greene County has upgraded and enlarged its outdoor warning system. Thanks to a grant from State Representative A.J. McCampbell (D-71st District) more citizens of Greene County will receive warnings of impending severe weather and other hazards.
The grant was provided to the Greene County Emergency Management agency via the Alabama Emergency Management Agency’s Preparedness Program. The $42,000 grant funded the replacement of the inoperable siren in downtown Eutaw. The replacement siren is located at the J.C. Poole Public Library while sirens at Branch Heights and the old National Guard Armory were added to the existing system.
Action of the three new sirens and two existing sirens (Forkland Townhall and Union Town Hall) can now be done simultaneous or individually by dispatchers at the 9-1-1 Center.
“Prior to now the old siren had to be activated manually,” says Greene County EMA Director Hodges Smith. “Now that 9-1-1- dispatchers have the ability to set the siren off, citizens will get emergency alert much quicker and that is important when seconds can save lives.”
Director Smith reminds residents they should not depend on hearing the sirens indoors. “These are out door warning sirens intend to alert people who are outside and would not otherwise have a way to hear warnings,” he said.
The siren system is only part of a growing integrated system for alerting Greene County citizens. Last year FMAlert radios were made available to Greene County via a grant from the National Weather Service. They which were also provided to Greene County EMA through Alabama EMA.
The FMAlert radios are activated by National Weather Service tranmissions utilizing sub-carriers of participating broadcast radio stations. FMAlert receivers are avaliable to the public for $39.99 at Hardy’s Stop and Shop (602 Prairie Avenue in Eutaw). The FMAlert radios have also been placed in schools and other public facilities.
Director Smith says he owes a great deal of gratitude to Rep. McCampbell and the Greene County Commission for working with his agency to upgrade and expand the system for the safety of Greene County residents.
It takes a cross section of methods to reach the largest amount of people with emergency alerts. Director Smith points out that the new additions to the Greene County system is just the beginning of increased efforts to make citizens of the county safer. Smith also points out that owning a NOAA Weather Radio receiver and monitoring broadcast media are important methods of staying on top of the approaching severe weather.
Greene County EMA and the 9-1-1- Dispatch Center will test the entire siren system at 12 noon on the first Wednesday of each month.The first regular test is scheduled for February 2nd. If there is cloudy or inclement weather on the day for the monthly test, the test will be delayed to the first acceptable weather day. “We do not want to unduly frighten people with the tests if weather conditions are not favorable.” say Director Smith.
The FMAlert System will be tested at the same time as the siren system.
Director Smith says he owes a great deal of gratitude to Rep. McCampbell and the Greene County Commission for working with his agency to upgrade and expand the system for the safety of Greene County residents.
It takes a cross section of methods to reach the largest amount of people with emergency alerts. Director Smith points out that the new additions to the Greene County system is just the beginning of increased efforts to make citizens of the county safer. Smith also points out that owning a NOAA Weather Radio receiver and monitoring broadcast media are important methods of staying on top of the approaching severe weather.
Greene County EMA and the 9-1-1- Dispatch Center will test the entire siren system at 12 noon on the first Wednesday of each month.The first regular test is scheduled for February 2nd. If there is cloudy or inclement weather on the day for the monthly test, the test will be delayed to the first acceptable weather day. “We do not want to unduly frighten people with the tests if weather conditions are not favorable.” say Director Smith.
The FMAlert System will be tested at the same time as the siren system.

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