Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
Emergency sirens are expected to wail in Havre Friday, but this time it should not be a matter of concern. The local emergency planning committee and local emergency response entities have scheduled a test of Havre’s two emergency sirens Friday, set to begin at 10 a.m. “We want to make sure each dispatch (center) has the ability to turn them on, also to make sure they automatically turn off in three minutes,” said Ron Knudson, Hill County emergency manager. Knudson said a second siren has been added to the system, at the water tank near the Legion Baseball Field in eastern Havre. The existing siren, near the water tank by the cemetery road near Highland Park, was installed in the 1980s. Knudson said the siren which generally cost $7,000 to $8,000 was paid for with a donation by Devon Energy, and Triangle Communication donated use of a pole to mount the equipment. “It was a community effort, definitely,” he said. Knudson said the setup for the new siren has been completed and a dry run shows all is in order. The big test, to make sure that both the Hill County and City of Havre dispatch centers can activate the sirens and the automatic shutoff is functioning, will be Friday. The tests will run for three minutes. As each dispatch center w i l l be testing the sirens, there will be two sets of three-minute tests. In an actual emergency, a message would be broadcast over KOJM 610 AM and KPQX 92.5 FM radio, with the message repeated or updated throughout the emergency. Knudson said the sirens would not be used again during an emergency, with the radio messages running updates and notifying people when the emergency was over. The sirens would be used to notify area residents of emergencies and to tune into the radio in case of tornadoes, flash floods or other weatherrelated emergencies; hazardous material spills; evacuations, or any other disaster requiring public notification. In case of a disaster requiring the use of the sirens, an authorized representative would notify the 911 dispatch center to activate the siren. The people authorized to activate the sirens are the Hill County Sheriff, the Havre Police Chief, the Havre Fire Chief, the Hill County Commissioners, the City of Havre Mayor, and the Hill County Emergency Manager. During an emergency, people are advised to take shelter inside a building away from windows and tune to KOJM or KPQX radio for emergency information. Knudson said people wanting more information can contact him at 265-5481, ext. 283, or on his cell phone at 390-8858.