City adding four outdoor warning sirens

DEARBORN – The city soon will be receiving four more sirens from Wayne County to enhance the outdoor warning system installed by the county a few years ago.

Dearborn has 12 outdoor sirens now, which are designed to alert people who are outdoors that they need to take cover indoors because of severe weather or other threatening hazards. The sirens are not meant to be the primary warning for people already inside. They might not be heard inside houses or buildings.

Wayne County, which received federal money for the warning system, installed Dearborn’s sirens as part of a countywide design meant to work in conjunction with adjacent communities.

The system’s design counted on each community operating its sirens in the same way and sounding alerts simultaneously when threats were in the same geographic area.

But it was discovered that not every community operates its system in a similar manner. Along with that finding, Dearborn officials discovered that the county-installed outdoor warning sirens were not reaching some areas of the city in an optimal way.

At the urging of city emergency management team and Mayor John O’Reilly Jr., Wayne County in July agreed to install four more outdoor sirens in Dearborn by the fall.

These additional sirens will be in the Whitmore-Bolles school area, near the Oakwood Common retirement communi-
ty, near the Dearborn Hills Golf Course and near Cherry Hill and Outer Drive.

In addition, the city will benefit from the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s installation of four sirens to serve its campus on Evergreen.

Further, the city will be pursuing two to four more sirens through federal Homeland Security grants. These sirens will have voice capabilities to alert people to seek cover indoors, or provide other specific directions.

The plan is to install the additional sirens in areas where large crowds typically gather outdoor, such as for athletic events, at visitor attractions or during festivals.

Residents should be aware of severe weather and monitor TV and radio reports if conditions seem threatening. In addition, public safety officials suggest residents invest in weather radios or all-hazard radios to better ensure they are informed and can respond appropriately to danger.

Residents also can sign up for alerts from Dearborn public safety officials via Nixle.com, which can deliver text messages and e-mails about safety warnings. To sign up, go to Nixle.com. Normal messaging fees apply.

Officials said there may not always be time for a Nixle alert if weather conditions develop suddenly.

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