City Continues Siren Investigation
An investigation into the cause of a false emergency siren activation on Sunday is ongoing, according to City officials.
City staff have confirmed that the activation of the emergency siren at Highway 15 and 21 was the result of a power failure, but the cause of the power failure itself remains undetermined.
“In the event of a real emergency, the Emergency Siren System is activated by emergency personnel,” explained the City’s Director of Emergency Management, Ward Antoniuk.
“The siren system is only used to alert residents to shelter in place and turn on a television or radio for further instructions,” Antoniuk explained.
“In the case of the false alarm on Sunday afternoon, the Alberta Emergency Warning System was not used but certainly would be used in the event of a real emergency,” he continued.
The Alberta Emergency Public Warning System, which was originally developed following the 1987 Edmonton Tornado, was upgraded and renamed to “Alberta Emergency Alert” in 2011, in light of changes in radio and television from a move to digital signals.
The social networking site Twitter was abuzz Sunday, with a flood of tweets from local residents commencing within seconds of the siren activation.
Twitter also proved useful to efficiently dispel any concerns over the mis-activation, with Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur (@GaleKatchur) quickly informing residents that there was no actual emergency, and that the reason for the activation was under investigation.
City officials also reminded residents that the Community Notification System may also be used in the event of a real emergency. Local residents can register for the Notification System by visiting the NR CAER website (www.nrcaer.com) or by calling 780.424.0162.