TEXARKANA, Ark. – The city of Texarkana, Ark., recently approved a plan to upgrade its network of sirens, which are important tools used to warn residents of tornadoes and other natural emergencies.
Fire officials say their current system already gives the city very good coverage, but upgrades will improve safety, functionality and reliability.
“This is much needed and will be a significant improvement for citizens,” said William Smith, Texarkana, Ark., deputy fire chief.
Smith says the new 14-siren system will be controlled from the Bi-State Justice Building and the downtown fire station.
The American Signal Corporation will perform the upgrades, including replacing two sirens and removing a siren on Jefferson Avenue that is redundant.
Smith says they will be able to remotely monitor the new system and it will alert them to any maintenance issues.
The company modernizing the network will also train staff.
“They will train them so they can do all the preventative maintenance on them. The goal is that we don’t have major repairs in the future and we can stay ahead of the curve,” Smith said. .
The new system will cost over $138,000 and should be installed by mid-summer.
Funding for the project will come from the city’s general fund.
Emergency management officials say you shouldn’t rely solely on exterior sirens, but have multiple ways to receive emergency notifications, including code red alert.