Outdoor warning siren in Jefferson City adds vocal capability

Sep 27, 2012

Jefferson City celebrated the construction of its seventh outdoor warning siren with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Wednesday.

The completion of the seventh siren marks the halfway point of the city’s plan to install 14 sirens by the end of the year. Funding for the project was raised through the Jefferson City Capitol Improvement Sales Tax.

The towers are an overall improvement from their decades-old predecessors, featuring a digital output system requiring no moving parts. The new system can project voice messages and several tone variances, allowing specific alerts for different emergencies.

"They can literally get on the microphone and say ‘Hey, there’s been an explosion at this particular address. Do not go near there,'" Mayor Eric Struemph says.

The voice capability also means emergency services can alert the public whether an alert is a test or an actual crisis, the old test method left citizens in audible range confused and concerned as there was no way to designate if the siren was being tested or if the sound was warning of an actual emergency.