The outdoor emergency warning sirens in Nelsonville and The Plains will be tested at 12 noon on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, with a one minute sounding of the sirens. This time change is so Athens County can participate in the statewide tornado drill. Local residents are asked not to call local emergency agencies inquiring why the sirens are sounding.
The outdoor warning siren system is normally tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 12:00 p.m. The monthly test will be cancelled if severe weather is threatening. If severe weather cancels the test it will be postponed until the next month. There are three conditions that result in the warning sirens being activated in Athens County.
1) Severe Weather
a) When the National Weather Service initiates a Tornado Warning for an area that includes areas of Athens County.
b) When the National Weather Service initiates a Severe Thunderstorm Warning (winds 58+ mph, large hail, severe lightening and heavy rains), for an area that includes areas of Athens County.
2) When there is an actual enemy or terrorist attack against the United States has been detected and is threatening areas of Athens County and protective action should be taken immediately.
3) When a public safety emergency occurs the sirens will be used to alert the public of emergencies such as hazardous materials incidents and civil disturbances.
When the outdoor warning sirens are sounded for an emergency they will be activated for five minutes. When you hear the warning sirens you should do the following;
DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 to ask why the sirens are sounding as this can overload the 9-1-1 emergency response system.
Remember, outdoor warning sirens are just that, out-door warning. The sirens are meant to be heard outside to signal you to go indoors and tune your radio or television station to the local Emergency Alert System (EAS) Station. As homes continue to become more energy efficient and sound proofing enhanced, outdoor warning sirens that once could be heard decades ago inside of a home can no longer be heard. That’s why other means of warning are in place.
Go immediately to a safe area in your home or building, if high winds, severe thunder and lightning are present.
If you are outside away from possible shelter, lie flat on the ground away from trees until the storm passes. If in a vehicle, get out and find a more substantial structure.
Carry a battery operated radio or NOAA all hazard alert radio to your safe area. You will know when the storm or emergency has passed and when it is clear to leave your safe area.
The Athens County SIRENS DO NOT identify specific types of storms or emergencies, therefore you should immediately seek shelter and tune to local television or radio for further information.