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New regulations established for emergency sirens

By Danniel Parker

Staff Writer

All municipalities in the Oklahoma City metro area have agreed to guidelines for using tornado sirens.

Every sector of the metro agreed to test their emergency alarm sirens Saturday at noon.

The only exception is Tinker Air Force Base, which will continue to be a military base, where these regulations do not apply.

“Now we’ll never hear a siren to signal that everything is all clear,” said Kristy Yager, spokeswoman for the City of Oklahoma City.

A local option was added allowing townships to use their siren in the event of any type of disaster, instead of just the tornadoes for which Oklahoma is known. So if out of control grass fires encroach upon towns on the edge of the metro, residents will be warned.

“If there is any life threatening situation on a mass scale, cities and counties have the choice to blow their warning siren,” said Yager.

The theoretical situation she gave as example was if there was a bad hail storm coming during the Festival of the Arts. Now the festival goers could be warned in time for them to flee for cover before getting brained by golf-balls of ice.

Impending disasters include things like tornados, monsoons, hail storms, earthquakes, terrorist bombings, chemical spills, dam breaches, wild fires and an attack on U.S. soil.

Two years ago Moore blared its siren when a Hazmat spill occurred, spilling fumes out into the streets. Apparently that broke some rules back then, but not anymore.

“Now we are all speaking with one voice in the case of an emergency. This strengthens our communication as central Oklahomans,” Yager said.

If you hear the alarm sound, seek shelter and turn your television to a local channel for information.

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