Franklin County Sheriff's Office & Emergency Management
2010 Warning Siren System
Franklin County has now an operational system of County-wide warning sirens that are radio-operated from the Hampton Dispatch Center. This system has been developed over several years and involves 12 sirens, and financed by the Franklin County Board of Supervisors and some grant monies from USDA Rural Development.
Confusion hinders public response. Using common/consistent guidelines for the outdoor warning system throughout Franklin County minimizes confusion in emergency situations. Establishing common guidelines will also enable communities to partner in an area-wide public education campaign regarding sirens and the overall public emergency notification system.
The outdoor warning sirens represent only one part of a broader public emergency notification system. Other components might include: NOAA All-Hazards Radio, Law Enforcement, Direct dialing/automated notification systems, and the media. Sirens are used to alert citizens who are outdoors of an imminent hazard and prompt them to seek shelter immediately and additional information on the threat (timing, location, and severity).
Siren System Dynamics
The Franklin County Warning Siren System (FCWSS) consists of twelve (12) warning sirens that have been placed around Franklin County: Alexander, Beeds Lake State Park, Bradford, Chapin, Coulter, Faulkner, Geneva, Hansell, Popejoy, Latimer, Sheffield, and Terrace Hill.
Each siren includes:
The computer, software, and activation system for these warning sirens is located at the Hampton Dispatch Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Center, a contract Dispatch Service provider for the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management. The sirens may be activated individually, or in series, depending on National Weather Prediction notification. The Beeks Lake State Park and Terrace Hill sirens will be activated when the Hampton Warning Sirens are activated.
Siren activation is recommended for:
Warnings are officially issued by National Weather Service (Johnston, Iowa) and are received at Hampton Dispatch Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)/911 Center for Franklin County. The official warning is received via the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems (NLTS).
National Weather Service warnings define the area threatened by the storm and include information about the history and/or potential of the storm. In addition, trained spotters such as law enforcement, fire, and emergency management officials may provide real-time reports of an imminent threat approaching or occurring in the county.
When a warning includes the specific hazards defined above, or when trained spotters report any of these hazardous conditions, sirens should be activated for all communities in the threatened area. Because of technology limitations and the configuration of siren activation systems, there may be areas adjacent to the threatened area, but outside the official warning boundaries that are warned as a precaution. People in or near the warned area should always seek additional information from reliable sources such as NOAA All-Hazards Radio or the local media.
When activated, the tone should be sounded for 3-5 minutes, re-sounding every 10-15 minutes for the duration of the threat (warning period).
The Franklin County Warning Siren System consists of several actions:
If a severe weather watch or warning is in effect for the Franklin County area prior to the 1:00pm on the scheduled test day, the sirens should not be tested that day. Outdoor warning siren tests will resume on the next scheduled monthly date.
Testing may be suspended during the winter months (December - February) when ice or sub-zero temperatures could damage the siren system. Testing should be considered condition-dependent during these months. Testing schedule should be maintained whenever possible for continuity purposes as well as system reliability.
If testing is required at any time outside the normal monthly testing schedule, Franklin County Emergency Management shall be notified. Franklin County Emergency Management will then notify the media to better ensure awareness by the public of the additional testing and hopefully reduce the number of concerned callers to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
The Franklin County Supervisors purchased and installed sirens for Alexander, Coulter, Popejoy, Latimer, Chapin, Sheffield, Hansell, Beeds Lake State Park, Terrace Hill, Geneva, Faulkner, and Bradford communities. Incorporated communities have a memorandum of understanding to maintain the siren in their community, all the remaining unincorporated area sirens will be maintained by Franklin County.
Call 641-456-456-2731 (Sheriff's Office) or 641-456-6032 (Emergency Management), if you have questions.
Do not call E-911, this is for emergencies only!!!