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Posted on: June 24, 2019

OUTDOOR WARNING SYSTEM….When you hear the siren in Benbrook

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OUTDOOR WARNING SYSTEM….When you hear the siren in Benbrook

Outdoor Warning Sirens are part of an emergency notification system designated to notify citizens of an impending danger. The sirens are designed to warn residents who are outside or in close proximity to a siren. It may not always be heard inside homes, buildings with high ambient noise levels (offices, factories, televisions or stereo’s), or while you are sleeping.

If you hear the sirens while you are outside: remain calm, and go inside and seek shelter immediately. Turn on your radio or television for further information and instructions. Take whatever action is necessary to protect yourself and your family. Unless instructed to do so, stay indoors until the emergency situation has ended. WBAP Radio, 820 AM, is the designated Emergency Alert Station in the Benbrook area. Please do not call 911 for information, call only if you are reporting a life threatening hazardous condition.

The most common time sirens are activated is for a weather event – not just a tornado, as most people think. Local officials will sound the weather siren when a tornado has been sighted or is approaching a specific area, or when dangerous weather conditions warrant (wind speed sustained in excess of 70 mph, or hail “quarter size or larger”). The siren sound will be a long, steady tone (will vary slightly- up and down tone - due to siren moving to warn different locations.) The siren will last three (3) minutes and may be repeated. Sirens will only be activated if the weather event will directly impact the city – not if a countywide alert has been announced (the danger may be east of the City of Benbrook, and is moving away).

Sirens may also be used to warn residents of a “Hazardous Material Incident” or hazardous condition in the area. The siren sound will be different than the weather alert, it will resemble a “whooping sound” – with the siren ranging from low to high – stopping – then repeating again.

Again, if you hear the siren, immediately go inside and tune to a local radio or television broadcast for special reports or updates. Sirens are tested “silently” three (3) times a week to maintain a constant state of readiness; and tested manually once (1 time) a month (you will hear this one) on the first Wednesdays of the month (weather permitting) at 1:00pm.

Weather Alert Radio’s may also be purchased locally for indoor warnings. These electric powered radios have battery back up power. They sound an alarm when the National Weather Service issues a bulletin, including a severe weather watch or warning. Weather alert radios provide an excellent measure of safety for homes, businesses and schools.

The siren sounds again are:

Weather Alert
The siren will produce a steady tone signal for three (3) minutes. The sound will have a natural increase/decrease due to the rotation of the siren head.

Hazardous Material Incident or Release
The siren will produce a low to high tone lasting for three (3) seconds followed by a short pause. The sound will have a natural increase/decrease due to the rotation of the siren head.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Benbrook Fire Department at (817) 249-1727

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