It has been a while since I updated the information for the outdoor warning sirens in Frisco. I received a question from a resident and our assistant fire chief, Paul Siebert, sent this response:
…. You are correct in your assessment of the outdoor warning sirens, they are not designed or located to provide warning inside a home. Home construction today limits the amount of exterior noise that is allowed to penetrate the home, therefore to adequately cover the city with sirens to reach the needed decibel level would be cost prohibitive. As a result, we rely on several methods of notification and awareness for our residents (and ourselves) during times of severe weather or emergency.
The first and most important aspect of citizen emergency preparedness is awareness. Watching or listening to forecasts, the environment and other key indicators is critical to understand the potential for severe weather. Second, have a means of notification within the home. The National Weather Service maintains a notification system that activates weather radios during emergencies. This inexpensive radio can be purchased and setup in the home to alert when activated, and otherwise remain silent so as not to be an annoyance. This provides the necessary notification to address your concern of sleeping through any other notifications. Another service that has come about recently is the use of notifications from local TV/radio stations through “apps” for your phone. I believe almost every local TV station now offers this service. Third is preparation. Having a family plan in place so that knows the means of communication, meeting places and other vital information to help your family through a crisis.
You also asked about the use of the reverse 911 system during severe weather, which we have also considered. It has been our experience, through actual events and discussions with a variety of vendors, that a reverse 911 system is not adequate to provide the necessary notification to every citizen in a short term event such as severe weather. The time it takes to make 60,000+ automated calls does not allow for the relatively short identification time currently provided by the National Weather Service. The Weather Service continually strives to provide as much advance notification as possible, however the severity of a storm changes so quickly that the number of notifications we would send could quickly turn the reverse 911 system into something that our citizens begin to ignore.
We appreciate your interest in your family’s safety and I hope you believe that it is our primary mission as well. We continue to look for new methods and processes to increase notification capabilities. Thank you again for your input…
Good information by the chief. To add to chief Siebert’s comments, take a look at this video:
and you can read more about the sirens on the City of Frisco website. I hope this helps! – Mayor Maher Maso