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Iroquois County Testing Emergency Sirens May 1st

          --National Severe Weather Preparedness Week April 22 – 28


WATSEKA---Iroquois County officials plan a double test of community emergency sirens on Tuesday, May 1st. 

The testing will be in conjunction with the state of Illinois’ regular monthly test on the second Tuesday of the month at 10 AM.

“Due to recent frequency program changes mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),  some minor glitches created a few non-working systems.  So, we just want to double-check our alert system,” said 9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble.

FCC mandates required all radio communication frequencies to be narrow-banded.  The weather alert sirens also operate on a radio frequency. The upcoming test, Dubble said, will make sure all the community sirens  have been narrow-banded properly and are working.

The May 1st state of Illinois test will be conducted at 10 AM.  A localized Iroquois County test will follow at 10:15 AM.

Local officials are urged to make sure their alert systems are working.  Each community, whether it’s the village or fire district, is responsible for maintenance of the emergency siren.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and Iroquois County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA) is joining with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the first National Severe Weather Preparedness Week April 22-28. Federal, state and local agencies across the nation encourage people to know their severe weather risks, take action to be prepared and set an example for others.

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week coincides with the one year anniversary of the deadly tornado outbreak in the central and southern states.  Just one month later, Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a tornado.  In 2011, there was more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries.

Iroquois County ESDA Coordinator Carl Gerdovich joins with IEMA and the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA) in promoting the use of weather alert radios.   Several emergency management agency offices have distributed weather alert radios in their jurisdictions.

Information about severe weather preparedness is available at www.Ready.Illimnois.gov  and at www.iqesda.gov   FEMA’s website also has info or on the NOAA website at www.noaa.gov/wrn