Director of Disaster Management Jasen Penn has said that the Virgin Islands early warning sirens now have better connectivity and enhanced remote activation capacity following improvements carried out this week.
Mr. Penn said that sounding and monitoring the response of each individual siren unit remotely means better emergency alerting Territory-wide. “This latest improvement means that sirens may be activated in a targeted manner for community-specific hazards, and that we will have feedback to confirm their status,” he added.
The director stated that this upgrade results from a partnership with the firm Federal Signal based in the United States which has been instrumental with a shift toward digital alerting for early warning sirens.
Mr. Penn said, “This shift from analog to digital technology throughout the National Early Warning Multi-hazard Alert System has been underway for several years, and it was boosted by the rapid improvements made across the system after the impacts of 2017. We are very grateful that we can continually improve our systems as the technology advances.”
Residents are reminded that the emergency sirens are sounded on the fourth Friday of the month as part of a monthly test of the National Early Warning Multi-hazard Alert System. During a test, sirens emit an electronic wail for 60 seconds. In the event of an actual emergency, the sirens would sound continuously, signalling residents to tune into local radio stations or check the DDM app or website for additional safety information.