Statement on the Kent County Outdoor Warning Sirens 

Kent County Emergency Management and City of Grand Rapids Emergency Management will be conducting a monthly test of the outdoor warning sirens, Friday August 2, at 12:00pm. If you do not hear the siren testing, and believe you should have, you can fill out and submit the following online google form at: http://bit.ly/kcwarningsirens, or you can contact your local township or city office.

The tests will continue the first Friday of each month, April through October, at 12:00pm. The purpose of the outdoor warning sirens is to provide one of many means to alert citizens of an imminent hazard and to prompt them to find shelter and seek further information. The outdoor warning sirens are one facet of a broad system of emergency warning that also includes weather and media apps for smart phones, NOAA radios, and local radio and television alerts. It is understood that the outdoor warning sirens may not be able to reach the interior of all homes due to distance, improved housing construction and sound deadening features, and/or the specific location within the home such as a basement, so redundant methods of emergency alert are recommended.

New Information: The outdoor warning sirens in Kent County utilize only one tone, to deliver one message. That message is to take cover in a safe location such as a basement or interior room and seek more information. Some jurisdictions have multiple tones that are intended to solicit different responses from the public, but there is always the possibility of significant confusion with what each tone means and what is the appropriate response. In Kent County, we utilize what would be a long-wail sound, that will increase and decrease in volume by the position of the siren in its rotation (it will be louder when the siren is projecting toward you, and less when the siren is projecting away from you).