Brookville, PA – Beginning on Monday, July 6, 2020, the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services will be testing the emergency weather sirens in Brockway, Brookville, Summerville, Snyder Township, Punxsutawney and Sigel after the monthly fire siren and pager test.
When a severe weather outbreak occurs to include tornados, this warrants the sounding of the weather sirens. Each local community – mostly from their fire stations, will sound the alarm so that residents are alerted of the impending storm.
According to Tracy W. Zents, Director of Emergency Services, the county is able to sound alarms in these communities if local authorities are not able to do so for whatever reason.
“While the county has the ability to sound these alarms, it is important for the local authorities to activate them as they can see what is going on in their communities quicker than we can see,” Zents said. “The testing of the sirens from the 9-1-1 center will make sure our equipment is functioning properly to be able to support our communities as needed, as well as educating the public on the different sounds the siren makes for weather in comparison to fire related calls.”
Weather sirens are utilized to warn the public on the impending dangers of severe storms that could generate enough energy to form tornadoes. In addition to weather sirens, public apps for cell phones can give citizens the ability to get severe storm warnings when they are generated from the National Weather Service. Other types of warning devices that are available are the NOAA weather radio which can be purchased on line or at most general department stores.
“These devices can save someone’s life if they are not aware of a pending tornado,” Zents added. While currently, the 9-1-1 center can only activate the weather sirens in Brockway, Brookville, Summerville, Snyder Township, Punxsutawney and Sigel, the county will offer the same services for other communities that want to have the 9-1-1 center be able to activate their sirens in the future.
According to Zents, “the communities need to be the first ones to be able to sound their alarm. We will provide them the watches and warnings as we receive them through the National Weather Service. They see what is occurring in their communities and have to be able to act quickly to notify the residents. By the 9-1-1 center being able to activate the weather siren, it just gives each community another way to make that notification if they are unable to.”
The test will occur on the first Monday of every month after the monthly fire siren and pager test. Most generally this test will occur between 7 and 7:15 p.m. In the event that the 9-1-1 center is busy with emergency calls, the test will not occur that evening.