Mayor urges residents to sign up for alerts - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mayor urges residents to sign up for alerts

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One new emergency siren is being installed and three existing sirens are being replaced to help warn residents of severe weather in one of Louisville's most densely populated areas.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the improvements on Wednesday.

The new siren is being installed at the University of Louisville's Shelby Campus, helping improve coverage of the heavily populated Hurstbourne Parkway/Shelbyville Rd. area which includes many neighborhoods, hotels, high-rise office complexes and shopping centers.

Three existing, older sirens in the same area – on Gatehouse Lane, Oxfordshire Lane and Roosevelt Ave. -- are being replaced with newer technology, including a battery back-up system.

"Our local network of sirens is a first line of defense against the worst weather and other disasters, so improving coverage in one of our most populated areas is an important step forward," Fischer said.

The improvements are funded by a $100,000 federal FEMA grant provided to the Louisville Metro Emergency Management Agency. The University of Louisville is also assisting with the costs.

Emergency Management currently maintains 124 sirens in Louisville.

The Civil Defense sirens began to emerge in the WWII era to alert citizens of potential air raids. Currently, they are used mainly as an outdoor warning system to alert the community of severe weather. In Louisville, the sirens are activated when a tornado warning is issued -- thus many call them tornado sirens.

The sirens alert residents who are outside to seek shelter and obtain additional weather information. They are also used for a civil emergency or a hazardous materials incident.

Fischer also urged residents to sign up for the city-wide Code Red alert system, if they have not already done so. Code Red can warn people of severe weather, industrial accidents and other threats. Citizens may choose which types of alerts and which delivery methods they wish to receive.

Fischer encouraged citizens to especially sign up for text alerts since they are quick and people generally have their cell phones with them.

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