With the recent severe weather conditions we found this information helpful, detailed and want to share it to promote safety and awareness.
Residents of the city could experience a variety of emergencies including the effects of tornadoes, civil defense and hazardous materials accidents. That is why The City of Plano has an extensive Outdoor Warning System, comprised of thirty-six warning sirens and a system for overriding cable television programming that would be used in the event the public needed to be notified of these situations.
A central control computer, operated by Public Safety Communications personnel, sends secure digital messages to each siren, telling the sirens when and how to operate.
The City’s policy and criteria for activation of the OWS was developed in coordination with the National Weather Service. It is generally consistent with criteria used in surrounding cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth areas if one or more of these conditions are present:
• Tornado Warnings from the National Weather Service naming Plano in the path
• Severe Thunderstorm Warnings from the National Weather Service with winds forecast over 73mph
• Hail greater than one-inch in size.
To ensure all systems are operating normally an audible test of the Outdoor Warning System is run on the first Wednesday of each month, at 12:00 noon. The test will not be conducted if there is any city-wide emergency or threatening weather.
What do I do when I hear the warning sirens?
Ø Remain calm, go inside and seek shelter immediately; turn on your radio or television, or listen to your Weather Alert Radio.
Ø Listen carefully to the instructions.
Ø Take whatever action is necessary to protect yourself and your family. Unless told otherwise, stay indoors until the emergency has ended.
Ø Do not call 9-1-1 to ask why the warning sirens have been activated. Only call 9-1-1 if you have an emergency to report for Police, Fire or EMS assistance.
Note: In this area WBAP Radio, 820 AM, is the designated Emergency Alert System (EAS) station. Most other radio and television stations will also broadcast information regarding emergencies. Those with cable TV may turn to PTN, Channel A30, for official information from the Plano Warning Center.
This system is a supplemental warning system, designed to warn those who are outside, or who are in close proximity to a siren. As a supplemental warning system, it may not always be audible inside homes, buildings with a high ambient noise level (such as offices or factories), or when you are sleeping.
As a primary means of warning, Weather Alert Radio Receivers are strongly encouraged for every home and business. They are available from a variety of retailers, and typically cost between $30 and $80. These receivers sit silently until the National Weather Service issues a warning; at which time they give out a loud alarm sound, followed by the specific warning message. The Weather Alert Radios can easily be configured to warn the hearing and visually impaired.
It is imperative that you remain aware of the potential for severe weather, especially during the spring and fall storm seasons. By remaining alert, you can anticipate severe weather, and possible watches or warnings. If the potential for severe weather exists, be prepared. Monitor your Weather Radio or a local radio/television station for updates.
What else can I do to be prepared?
1. A little advanced planning will help you be ready, should an emergency occur.
2. Prearrange a safe meeting place inside your home. You will want to find an interior room on the ground floor, with no windows or exterior doors.
3. Keep blankets, water, non-perishable food, flashlight, and personal hygiene items readily accessible.
4. Have your driver’s license, checkbook, credit cards and cash ready.
5. Make sure your car has at least a half tank of gas at all times.
6. If you have one, keep your cellular telephone fully charged and ready to use.
7. Most emergencies are short-lived, but having made some simple advance plans will help ensure your safety.
Information obtained from Plano City site, a map of siren locations and an audio link can be found on this site.
Your Plano Neighbors,
Keith & Reechia Powell