Emergency officials evaluate the vulnerability of Amarillo sirens

Emergency officials evaluate the vulnerability of Amarillo sirens
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - After 156 emergency weather sirens were activated by an unauthorized individual in Dallas, the Amarillo Office of Emergency Management is assessing the vulnerability of local sirens.

Engineers inspected the sirens Wednesday and contacted the manufacturers and determined the system in Potter and Randall counties has more safeguards and is less likely to be high jacked.

"We have been in contact with officials in Dallas and we have a very similar system, however we have one piece of security in place they don't have," said  Director of Emergency Services Chip Orton. "We are not quite as vulnerable as they were."

The Amarillo OEM said the likelihood of local sirens going off unintentionally is extremely unlikely.

There are 91 outdoor sirens that can be individually triggered in the event of hail, the sighting of a super cell, tornado or other severe weather conditions.

Barring any unauthorized activation or serious weather event, the only other time you will hear the sirens is during a test, which is conducted on the last Friday of the month for 90 seconds.

"The misconception about the sirens is that it is a universal warning system," said Orton. "It is intended to warn people who are outdoors and people should get inside and check the TV or radio and find out what's going on."

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