Emergency managers to test new warning sirens

Residents and business owners throughout Biloxi will hear a series of loud tones Wednesday, March 23 when the city begins testing its new emergency warning system.

Beginning at noon, Biloxi and county emergency managers will be testing 10 siren towers that have been erected throughout the city. The towers, funded with a $187,000 federal grant, use three specific tones to notify citizens of impending danger, such as a tornado, hurricane or other incident.

Typically, the tones, which may run as long as three minutes, will be triggered by the National Weather Service issuing tornado or hurricane warnings fort the area, according to Police Sgt. Milton Houseman, the city’s emergency manager.

All 10 towers can be used simultaneously or individually, depending on the magnitude of the event. During the test Wednesday, all 10 towers will emit back-to-back 60-second samples of each of the three tones.

To hear a 25-second sample of the tones, click on the links below:

— Tornado, uses a sound known as alert tone.

— Hurricane, uses an air horn tone.

— General emergency, uses a whoop tone.

Once residents hear the tones, they should seek safe shelter, and tune to local media for more information, or call the Biloxi Police Department at 392-0641. The city also will relay information through its Bmail service and website.

The locations of the towers are the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center on Porter Avenue; at fire stations on Howard Avenue, Elder Street, Pass Road, Veterans Avenue, West Oaklawn Road, Woolmarket Road, at the city’s two fire stations on Popp’s Ferry Road; and at a Coast Electric substation on Old Highway 67.