The Town of Bethel has a siren system consisting of multiple outdoor warning sirens. The siren system is activated for any type of emergency that could seriously affect the population and alerting our town's emergency response personnel, such as EMTs and Volunteer Fire Departments. The siren system can be activated for either the entire town or specific zones. When the sirens activate, with a long wavering sound, the public is advised to tune into broadcast radio, television or cable and listen for official announcements or information concerning the emergency. Radio Station WLAD, 800 on the AM dial, is the primary Emergency Alert System (EAS) activation station, which should alert listeners to impending emergencies. Additional stations are referenced on the Media Resources page.
The Emergency Alert System replaced the Emergency Broadcasting System (EBS) technology. By federal law, the EAS equipment was mandated to be installed and operational in every radio and television station by January 1, 1997, and in cable television systems by July 1, 1997. This new technology is designed to allow statewide alerts as well as single or multiple county alerts. Police, Fire, National Weather Service, and Emergency Management officials are all potential users of the EAS in the event of an emergency that threatens life and property. Radio and television stations must conduct weekly tests of the EAS without voice messages, however the full capability of the EAS must be tested once each month. This means subordinate stations in the network must react to such tests within 15 minutes of reception by carrying the voice and text messages as originated or paraphrased. Comcast Cable Channel 69 for Weather, Channels 23/24 for Public Access.
NOAA Weather Radio is a dedicated radio enabling the listener to receive real time weather information provided by the National Weather Service. The information provided includes current weather conditions, local forecasts, travel and recreational forecasts, as well as climatology data. Weather messages are repeated every 4 to 6 minutes and are updated every 1 to 3 hours. (Note: updates occur more frequently in rapidly changing or hazardous weather conditions.) During severe weather, live broadcasts are made to notify listeners of potential hail, flooding, tornadoes, blizzard conditions, and other weather warnings. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts can usually be heard as far as 40 miles from a transmitter. See Scanner page for frequencies. The latest feature added to the NOAA Weather Radio allows a listener the option of hearing warnings for specific areas, typically a county-area. These tone-alert radios can be purchased at many electronic stores, however it is a good idea to "call around" to confirm which stores actually sell the NOAA radios. See FIPS Codes. If you are surrounded by taller structures in town or you are located in a valley, a good quality antenna may be required for reliable reception.
The warning siren sounds a STEADY TONE or SERIES OF TONES.
(DO NOT confuse this with the warning siren that sounds with a
wail, an up and down sound). This signal tone is used to recall EMTs
and Volunteer Fire personnel.
WEATHER WARNING: The siren will be sounded with a WAIL if we are notified by the Weather Bureau, a Public Safety monitoring agency, or if our Weather Spotters observe a tornado, or if conditions are such that one is imminent. If severe weather is in the area, don't wait for the siren to go off before seeking shelter. Some storms are fast moving, and can be in, or passing through before the siren can be sounded.
When you hear this long wailing tone, immediately seek shelter in the basement. If you do not have a basement, an interior hall, closet, or room may provide a measure of safety. Stay away from windows, and DO NOT GO OUT INTO THE STORM. Listen to the local radio and television broadcast and cable stations for information.
HAZARDOUS SPILL WARNING: If when hearing the wailing tone of the siren, and there are no apparent weather related conditions present, you may be receiving a warning for another situation which requires your immediate action for health or safety. Immediately turn on your broadcast radio, television or cable station for further instructions.
TERRORISM WARNING: In the event of a local public risk created by acts of terrorism, information and instructions will be made available on area radio and television sources.
Also, if required, local police and fire vehicles equipped with mobile communicating capability will be routed throughout the town with specific announcements for public advisement.
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