Prepared for emergencies

By Thomas Garcia PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt County Emergency Management staff is close to completing the installation of four new sirens and a reverse 911 calling system to contact Roosevelt County residents.

The Roosevelt Emergency Management staff plans to test a siren today on U.S. Highway 70.

The four new sirens and the reverse 911 system should be fully operational by the end of June, said Roosevelt Emergency Management director Keith Wattenbarger.

The new sirens can cover a much larger area than the previous sirens. They have a rotating function that turns the siren 360 degrees in 20 seconds while the siren sounds, Wattenbarger said.

“At 500 decibels, the sirens should be heard by the residents indoors,” Wattenbarger said.

The sirens feature three tones, Wattenbarger said:

• Take cover

• All clear

• Industrial incident warning,

“Once the sirens are up, we plan to test them every Wednesday at noon,” Wattenbarger said.

In addition to the sirens, the Roosevelt County Emergency Management plans to use a reverse 911 system for warnings and updates.

“With the combination of the 911 reverse calling system and new sirens we will be able to better notify the public about potential danger,” Wattenbarger said.

Information to be distributed to the public through reverse 911 system can be entered by cell phone, laptop and land lines.

“The system can be programmed to a specific area and town,” Wattenbarger said. “If there was a tornado warning for Dora, we could mass call Dora’s residents about the warning.”

“This is extremely valuable to the residents of Portales and Roosevelt County,” Portales City Manager, Debi Lee said. “If the water line was to burst again, we could send out a system wide alert to the public about the outage and how long it might take to fix it.”