Town of Empire installs new storm sirens - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Town of Empire installs new storm sirens

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

EMPIRE, OK (KSWO)-Outdoor alert systems are meant to keep you safe, but for years the town of Empire hasn't had one. Now, they have four storm sirens thanks to a grant from ASCOG, and nearly all of them have been installed.

Before they got the new sirens, they relied on firefighters to alert residents. Now everyone will hear the same warning when severe weather approaches.The sirens will be a new era of safety in a small town with a growing population.

"As we are growing our school system we have close to 600 students and staff at the Empire School. We are right at 900 community and as we  are grow its just the safety aspect of that, “said Brinegar. 

Mayor Perry Brinegar said the four new sirens were purchased through a grant that only applies to communities with a population of under 7,000. They cost around 55,000.

"We were very fortunate in 2016 to receive a Reap Grant, which is a rural economical action plan grant through the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments to help purchase the storm sirens, said Brinegar.

Brinegar said volunteer firefighters, and workers from A third is located at  58th and Cherokee Road, and they're planning to install the fourth siren at 78th and Beech Avenue.
PSO, and Cotton Electric have been working since January to assemble and install the new sirens.One of them is located at Empire Public Schools and another at 42nd and Fuller Road.

"These are controlled by radio, they are battery back-up in case the electricity goes out. Each siren has a backup battery so they will still be operational for two to three hours of continuous use, said Brinegar.

Brinegar said it all comes down to safety and the new sirens will help residents be better prepared.

"Having the early warning devices in a rural will give our citizens the opportunity to have 10 to 15 minutes of their precious time to go to the cellar, find a safe location, said Brinegar.

City council members will meet on September 19th to discuss a time and day to start testing the new sirens. Their goal is to have purchase two additional sirens at some point.That would give them six overall.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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