Outdoor warning sirens, reminiscent of the Cold War and the days of Civil Defense, have been once again identified as a valuable warning tool. However, the modern siren systems not only send an audible tone to get the attention of residents, visitors and business owners, verbal messages are transmitted over loud speakers after the alert tone is sounded.
Though not in every part of the city, Providence has two siren systems. The campus siren system installed at Brown University was installed in the Spring of 2008 and the second system at the Port of Providence is slated for Spring of 2009. Both systems consist of strategically placed sirens that will be used to warn Brown, the Port, Johnson & Wales and surrounding community in the event of a life threatening emergency.
If an emergency is identified, the Brown University Public Safety Department activates the campus sirens and the Providence Fire Department activates the Port sirens. The activation of both systems consists of an alert tone and a voice message regarding the nature of the emergency. Additional warning methods, such as Reverse 911, the national Emergency Alert System will more than likely be utilized as well.
Depending on the emergency situation, persons hearing the siren sound should immediately stop what they are doing and listen for the verbal instructions following the tone. Reasons as to why the siren system would be activated include a chemical spill, impending natural disaster, or a terror related incident. Instructions might include to seek shelter immediately or evacuate the area. Upon activation of the sirens, the media will be alerted and they will provide important instructions. Tune to local TV and radio once you have reached safety for additional information and instructions from emergency officials.
Understand that they're may be delays in additional information. Be patient and always listen for the voice instructions following the siren tone. Continue to listen to TV and radio broadcasts until additional information is transmitted. Have your telephone near you and use the phone only for emergencies. The City's Reverse 911 system may be trying to dial your number with emergency information. If you are a subscriber to Cox Communications or Verizon, the city already has your home telephone number. If you have a cellular phone, you need to register your telephone number with the city's Reverse 911 system.
Learn more about the 'Port of Providence Emergency Siren Warning System' (PPESWS)