Civil Defense will be conducting its monthly test of the statewide outdoor siren warning system at 11:45 a.m. today, according to the Hawaii Police Department.
Although the siren system is managed by State Civil Defense, the counties provide assistance with maintenance and operation of the warning sirens. Hawaii County police and fire personnel will monitor all 71 sites around the island to provide feedback about whether any sirens need to be repaired or adjusted.
State Civil Defense technicians did conduct maintenance last week on 11 sirens on the Big Island. At that time, all but the one at Laupahoehoe Point were deemed functional.
During the recent tsunami warning, 40 sirens failed statewide: 20 on Oahu, five on Maui, one on Molokai, four on Kauai and 10 on Hawaii. Where the sirens failed on the Big Island, patrol officers warned residents to evacuate by loud speaker.
The siren test, which is coordinated with the test of the live audio broadcast segment of the Emergency Alert System, involves a steady 45-second tone on all sirens. The purpose of the steady tone is to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life and property.
Besides natural and technological hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war. When the siren signal is sounded in your area during an actual emergency, tune to any local radio or television station for emergency information and instructions broadcast by Civil Defense agencies.
During the monthly test, participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of what the sirens mean, as well as other related information. Tests of State Civil Defense sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, typically on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcasting industry.
During the test, State Civil Defense officials remind the public that Civil Defense disaster preparedness information is located in the front section of telephone directories in all counties.