Pierce County News Release: On Nov. 1 at noon, Pierce County Emergency Management will test its 17 outdoor lahar warning sirens in the Puyallup River Valley. Additionally, the cities of Fife, Orting and Puyallup will test their 10 older civil defense-era sirens. This is a monthly drill that takes place on the first Monday of the month coinciding with the monthly testing of the state’s tsunami sirens along the coast.
The drill will check the siren equipment and monitor sound coverage throughout the valley. At the designated time, outdoor warning sirens will wail for up to one minute. The 17 newer All Hazards Alert Broadcast (AHAB) sirens are located in Fife (four), Orting (four), McMillan (one), Puyallup (four), Riverside (one), Alderton (one), and Sumner (two). The lahar sirens are designed for the outdoor and driving public and are one of the tools used to alert residents during a lahar.
To coincide with this drill, Emergency Management will continue to test its other new program, Pierce County ALERT. This new system is a mass communication tool that allows the County to contact residents and businesses during emergencies or other significant events. The morning of the siren drill, Emergency Management will call residents of the Puyallup River Valley from Orting to Fife to remind them about the test. (Puyallup residents will be notified by their own mass notification system.) County residents and businesses can opt-in other devices to receive these messages, including cell phones, e-mail, text messages, etc., by signing up at www.piercecountywa.org.
During the 2008 Legislative Session, Pierce County received funds to replace, upgrade and connect the lahar sirens along the Puyallup Valley so they could be tested and launched from a single location.