Siren tests are conducted at Noon on the first Saturday of each month and are activated by the Wilmington Police Department Communications Section. The sirens are owned and serviced by the jurisdiction they are placed (e.g. city, village, township). If your siren is not operating, it should be reported to the appropriate jurisdiction.
How are the sirens activated?
The outdoor warning sirens are activated two different ways. The first is by the National Weather Service through a series of computer signals. Anytime the NWS plots a storm WATCH or WARNING, this is in the form of a polygon with geographic coordinates. These coordinates are then transmitted through computer protocols that are received by computers that trigger weather radio alerts, activate warning sirens, and mobile alerts that you receive on your phone or TV. Locally, the signal is received in the Communications Section of the Wilmington Police Department and triggers a series of radio signals that are broadcasted locally to initiate one or more sirens.
The second way our sirens are triggered are manually through an operator with the Communications Section pushing a button (or a mouse click).
What if my siren does not work?
You should have multiple ways of receiving any warning. At a minimum, households should have a NOAA weather radio. Additionally, household members with mobile phones should also sign up to receive emergency alerts from their county Emergency Management Agency. Many of these include NWS notifications. To learn more, visit https://cc-ema.org/alerts (there are two options to join).
Option #1 involves setting up an account, allows you to add multiple addresses (e.g. home, work, school, kid's house, et cetera), multiple phone numbers and email addresses, and you can pick which alerts and how you receive them (i.e. voice, text, and/or email). You get ONLY alerts that impact the address(es) you enter. You have full control and can make changes as frequently as you like.
NOTE: You must confirm/verify each phone number added to an account at the time of enrollment by either an automated voice call, texted verification number, or you can schedule the verification call for a later time. Numbers added, but not verified, will not receive any alerts or notifications until they have been system verified.
Option #2 is a text to opt-in/out. You get ALL alerts for the county, regardless of where you are at the moment. To opt-in, text the keyword CLINTONCOUNTYALERTS to the number 226787. You'll get a quick reply saying you are in. If you win the lottery and move away, text STOP to 226787 and you are out. Easy-peasy!
What does it cost to get a new replacement siren?
The outdoor warning sirens are based on 1950’s technology and are pretty straight forward. Unfortunately, things break and it can be difficult to diagnose the problem. Many companies today are more interested in selling a new system than servicing an older version. As a result, jurisdictions that are already under considerable economic constraint has to evaluate the need and determine how to proceed. This could be continuing to fund service calls of several thousand dollars without a solution, or front upwards of $47,000 for a new siren.