City of OKC working to repair 18 faulty outdoor warning sirens

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City officials say repairs are underway on 18 sirens that are not working properly and may not sound in an emergency until they’re fixed.

“The problems could be storm damage from the weekend … or power outages from the previous weekend … just a variety of different issues that we were seeing out there” said City of Oklahoma City public information officer Kristy Yager.

Here are the 18 nonfunctioning sirens out of Oklahoma City’s 182 outdoor warning sirens:

A silent test Tuesday revealed these 18 sirens may be malfunctioning.

“When we saw that we had 18 sirens that may not activate it was important to us to move forward and move quickly and let people know that” said Yager.

There’s no timeline yet on when all 18 sirens might be repaired, but crews are working to repair them as quickly as possible.

“Every day of the work week we do test our alarms, and then on Saturdays we do an audible test” said Yager.

Residents who live close to some of the sirens in questions, said these malfunctions could be worrisome.

“The other day when they went off in Yukon and El Reno this one didn’t siren … so I got on the news at tried to see what was going on” said resident Danielle Norvelle, “if the sirens didn’t go off and I didn’t have social media or any other ways it would be scary” she said.

Remember: A siren should be only one of at least three ways to get information about the weather. Examples of the other two sources include a NOAA all-hazards weather radio, smartphone app, television news, AM-FM radio or an online news source. Use OKC’s Accessible Hazard Alert System to get alerts in American Sign Language and English voice and text.

“It’s important to that people have several different ways to get information about weather … not just rely on the outdoor warning sirens” said Yager.

Never rely only on sirens or any other single source of information as your only cue for deciding to take shelter. Even if you normally can hear a siren inside your home, you may not during a noisy thunderstorm.

“I wasn’t really afraid of them or anything like that because I thought they were out of our area … but then I heard the sirens immediately started freaking out … turned on News Channel 4 … and went straight into the bathroom and watched it” said another resident Bailey Lyons

Outdoor warning sirens are not intended to warn people inside a home or building. They’re primarily to alert people who are outdoors that a tornado threat is nearby.

In Oklahoma City, sirens sound when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning.

Unless there’s a threat of severe weather, the sirens will be tested at noon Saturday as normal. Anyone who can usually hear a siren during a test, but doesn’t hear a siren during Saturday’s test, should call (405) 231-2121 to report it.

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