Warning sirens to be tested

Biloxi will soon hear sirens once a month as part of the city’s emergency warning system.

The tests of the city’s 10 warning sirens, which begin on July 5, will be conducted the first Wednesday of every month for the tornado sirens and on the first and last day of hurricane season for hurricanes sirens. The minute-long, citywide tests will be at noon.  The sirens are to help alert residents to the impending dangers of a tornado or hurricane. 

“We are putting them into effect to acclimate the public to the sound of the sirens,” Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said. “There are two primary sounds we want the public to recognize, one for tornadoes and one for hurricanes, and we feel that an actual emergency situation is not the time that they should be introduced to the sound.”

Boney hopes the monthly tests will prompt people to think about their plan of action in the event of an actual emergency.

“If at work, where would you shelter? If at home, where would you shelter?” Boney said.  “How is your family prepared? Have you developed an emergency plan with your family? What will happen if you cannot contact them during an emergency?”

During an actual emergency, the tones will be triggered by the National Weather Service issuing tornado or hurricane warnings for the area.  An actual warning siren will sound for three minutes instead of the one minute used for tests.

Once you hear the tones, you should seek safe shelter and tune to local media as well as the city’s Facebook page for more information. For any concerns, call the Biloxi Police and Fire departments at 228-392-0641.

The 10 siren towers are positioned throughout the city. The locations are Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center on Porter Avenue; fire stations on Howard Avenue, Elder Street, Pass Road, Veterans Avenue, West Oaklawn Road, and Woolmarket Road; at the city’s two fire stations on Popp’s Ferry Road; and at a Coast Electric substation on Old Highway 67.

In addition to preparing the residents with warnings tones, the City of Biloxi is also hosting three preparedness outreach events next week.

The free “R U Ready?” events will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at three locations:  

– Tuesday, June 20 at the Dr. Frank G. Gruich Sr. Community Center,

– Wednesday, June 21 at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center, and 

– Thursday, June 22 at the Joppa Shrine Center. 
See the R U Ready? flyer
Visit the city’s Storm and Flood Preparedness page 
Listen to the tornado warning tone 
Listen to the hurricane warning tone