In conjunction with National Preparedness Month and the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Irma, the Hall County Board of Commissioners is set to consider a host of improvements and repairs to the County’s 23 weather sirens at their meeting next week.
Hall County conducts an audible test of the County’s severe weather warning system quarterly as well as a silent test every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Those tests and a recent thorough examination of the system concluded that seven new replacement sirens are needed, five require repairs and 11 others need upgrading due to technology advancements.
“These siren upgrades will extend the useful life of the sirens and their benefit to our community,” Interim Hall County Emergency Management Agency Director Casey Ramsey said. “Any investment in the safety of our citizens is incredibly important, and I am proud to see Hall County continue to take proactive steps to consider implementing safety measures in our weather alert system.”
The upgrades would also include new computer system alerting software, which will be housed at Hall County’s 911 Center, allowing for weather siren alerts to be site-specific rather than going off countywide regardless of the actual location of severe weather.
The estimated cost of the upgrades is $271,737, which includes a 5-year maintenance agreement on all systems. The board is expected to vote on the item at their regularly scheduled voting meeting Sept. 27.
Meanwhile, Hall County officials continue to urge citizens to sign up for the Hall County Citizen's Alert System, the program that notifies residents about severe weather, fires, floods, toxic environmental issues and other important topics within minutes. Messages can be sent to individuals using a variety of contact mechanisms - cell phone, landline, email, text messaging and more - ensuring that Hall County residents receive life-saving emergency information and important public service announcements in minutes. Citizens may self-register, provide additional contact information or opt out. To sign up or learn more, log onto alerts.hallcounty.org.