After Resident Complaints About Faint or Broken Sirens, Oahu’s Department of Emergency Management Conduct Tests

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Tsunami wave (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

During last Saturday’s Tsunami Warning, residents in several Hawaii counties complained they either did not hear warning sirens at all or they did not hear them until much later in the evening.

After the monthly siren test yesterday, Oahu’s Department of Emergency Management spokesperson John M. Cummings III said as the department had received 11-reports from residents that sirens that did not function properly.  Some sirens did not sound and others sounded weak, he said.


“All sirens that were or will be reported will be tagged for inspection and maintenance by either our City or State technicians,” Cummings said. “As much as we would like to have 100% operability these systems are out 24/7/365 in some pretty harsh environments.  As such they are prone to mechanical or electronic problems.”

He said their most important message to residents is that the Outdoor Siren Warning System is only one layer in a multi-media Emergency information Program.

“Other components include Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages broadcast over TV and radio, social media feeds like our DEM Twitter and Facebook pages and our emergency alerts sent via Nixle at” also help to ensure residents are alerted in a timely manner.

In addition  residents may also want to invest in a NOAA Weather Alert radio available at most stores like Longs, Radio Shack and Best Buy.  These radios can be set to alert anytime a Watch or Warning is issued by NOAA, Cummings said.





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