Sirens set to blare at beaches
If you hear a siren on Monday, don’t be alarmed.
The Waimakariri District Council Civil Defence team will be testing the emergency sirens at Woodend, Waikuku and Pines/ Kairaki beaches at 1pm on Monday, a plan that has been in the works for months.
Civil defence emergency management advisor, Brennan Wiremu, said the test is purely functional.
‘‘We are testing to make sure the siren works and to make sure the pre-recorded voice message works. This particular test is not around community education.’’
Wiremu said civil defence plans to run two function tests a year coinciding with daylight savings. He said the test is being carried out on Monday as there will be fewer people at home so disturbances will be at a minimum.
Wiremu said the sirens are unique to Waimakariri District Council in New Zealand. They have an initial alarm and then a choice of 6 pre recorded messages will play warning of either a test, tsunami, flood, fire, evacuate now and safe to come home. He said there is also the option of a live voice announcement.
The sirens can be activated in a number of ways, either at the control desk located at council, by one of three smart phones Wiremu and two other staff members possess, or on the actual siren.
They can also be triggered by a two-way radio in the event of no cell phone coverage.
The control system has been programmed by Wiremu to print out weekly reports on each of the three sirens. He said in addition to this the system will generate a report if there is a fault or issue with any of the sirens.
The report will give details on the status of each device including if and when it was activated, battery life and information on amplifiers.
Wiremu said the batteries in the sirens are similar to that of car batteries and are connected to the street lights and charge during the night.
The system, although intensive, is actually quite simple to use and, according to Wiremu, is fool proof. He said a system of this type costs around $150,000 and it is one we are lucky to have in the district.
‘‘It was great the elected members saw the importance in having a system like this, but also it was in response to what the public was asking for.’’
Civil defence emergency management advisor, Brennan Wiremu at the tsunami siren control desk.