By BRAD KELLAR
The annual SKYWARN storm spotter training program will be conducted in Greenville later this month, to help prepare for the potential arrival of severe weather in Hunt County.
The City of Greenville is also scheduled to test the city’s emergency warning sirens today, weather permitting. During the last test on January 28, five of the seven units were operational.
SKYWARN is scheduled in Greenville for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center, 5501 Highway 69 South.
The purpose of the program is to help train spotters, the first line of defense in identifying the approach of a severe thunderstorm. The seminar is free, and anyone interested in learning more about how severe weather forms is invited to attend.
The programs discuss the formation and behavior of storms, the production of severe weather, environmental clues which can suggest the possibility of a tornado or other severe weather, spotter reporting procedures, and safety tips.
The tests of the emergency sirens are normally conducted at 10 a.m. during the first Thursday of each month.
A fire engine is set up at four of the seven locations to make sure the sirens are working properly. At three other sites, the emergency dispatch calls a pre-determined business to see if the sirens were heard. Internal tests are performed through out the month and prior to severe weather to check the siren’s performance status.
Tests are also being conducted weekly through the dispatch system, which is not audible.
The sirens are located at:
— Graham Park, 800 Walnut Street
— Middleton Park, Spencer/Gibbons
— Wright Park, 5501 Highway 69 South
— Sports Park, 3901 Leo Hackney Boulevard
— Oak Creek Park, 10000 Aerobic Lane
— L-3 Communications, 10000 Jack Finney Boulevard (two sirens)
The outdoor sirens are designed to create an audible sound to alert people who are most likely outside of life threatening events, and are not designed to alert people in buildings or vehicles.
The city also uses the CodeRED system to warn citizens of major weather events. CodeRED is an automatic telephone notification system that can dial up to 60,000 numbers per hour.
Additional information concerning the CodeRED system is available on the City of Greenville web site at www.ci.greenville.tx.us/CodeRED