A full volume test of the County’s tsunami warning sirens is scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Over several years, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services in conjunction with the towns of El Granada, Princeton, Miramar, Moss Beach and Pescadero, and Cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay have developed an alerting system to warn communities for tsunami and other hazards.
The tsunami alerting system is just one part of the all hazards approach to public safety that is being constantly improved to protect the residents and visitors of San Mateo County.
A low volume test is conducted at 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. These tests are conducted for 15 seconds and at approximately one-half volume. It sounds similar to a siren on an emergency vehicle.
Tomorrow’s test, however, will be a lot louder and last a bit longer. The siren sound will last approximately 1 to 3 minutes in order to allow the sirens to reach their peak sound level and test their capability.
Many municipal agencies and members of the public will be listening to the test tomorrow and reporting their observations to the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services.
Computer modeling was used to determine the appropriate volume for the given environment. The sirens use computer controllers to provide constant monitoring of their vital systems. They also incorporate “green technology” as they derive all of the power they need to operate from solar panels, according to Jeff Norris of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services.
The Office of Emergency Services urges communities to check their individual emergency preparedness kits to rotate food and water and gather other supplies before the arrival of the winter storm season, making sure that your emergency kit is complete, and that you have good batteries in flashlights.
For more preparedness information, please go to www.SMCready.org or www.ready.gov.