We have installed two community alert sirens in our region as part of our disaster management functions. These sirens have been installed to alert residents to a major emergency that is likely to, or will, impact the community’s safety.
Wylahra Grove - Millmerran
The Wylahra Grove siren is located on Ayres Rock Road, Millmerran Estates (see image on left).
The Oakey siren is located on the corner of Beale and Davidson Streets, Oakey (see image on right).
The siren was originally installed in the CBD however, it was moved to its current location to be better positioned to alert the community in the higher flood risk zones. It is important to note that this siren is not only for alerting the community to floods and may be used for other risks such as hazardous chemical incidents or bushfires.
What to do when the siren sounds
The sound of the siren is a signal to community members to seek additional information from a reliable source, such as:
- Listen to ABC and commercial radio
- Visit the Toowoomba Region Disaster Dashboard - http://disaster.tr.qld.gov.au
- Check social media owned by authorities such as Toowoomba Region, Queensland Police Service, Bureau of Meteorology
- Contact Council by phone on 131 872
- Contact family, friends and neighbours in the area
The sirens are not a standalone system for alerting an at-risk community. Residents shouldn't rely on the siren sounding for all hazards. It is important for individuals and households to be responsible for their own personal safety and protection of their property by ensuring they are prepared for emergencies and disasters. Information on emergency preparation can be found here.
What the siren sounds like
When the siren/s are activated they will sound for three cycles of 5 minutes then 3 minutes silence. This is to ensure as many people in the at risk area as possible are alerted and reduce any broadcasting limitations caused by winds, vegetation and other background noises such as traffic.
Who can request the activation of the siren
Authorised officers from emergency services and other government agencies can request the activation of either siren if a significant threat is posed to the broadcast area.
The sirens are one of many tools used to provide warning for all hazards, in a coordinated approach with partner agencies such as Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. They can be used along with other methods of sharing warnings such as the emergency alert system that pushes voice recordings to landlines and text messages to mobile phones. This service is not an optional service that people may opt in or out of. Further information about the emergency alert system is available on the Emergency alert - Australia wide website.
Testing and maintenance
The sirens require regular testing to ensure their operational readiness. They will automatically run an audible test every year at midday on the 1st of June and December. The tests may run for less than one minute up to the full three cycles for a complete activation test. It is important for the community to remember these dates and not panic should they hear the sirens. Community messaging will be distributed leading up the test but please ensure any family and friends in the area are aware also.
The sirens are able to be activated in three different ways, ensuring there are alternatives in place should any of the methods fail. Upon activation of the sirens, confirmation that it was successfully activated is sought to ensure the system is working as expected.