Hennepin County has rescheduled its monthly siren drill to coincide with the nationwide Presidential Alert test.
The siren drill will now take place at approximately 1:20 P.M. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The change is aimed at improving emergency preparedness and public awareness.
The Presidential Alert, coordinated by FEMA, is an important tool for informing the public about national emergencies. During the test, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will be sent to every cell phone in the United States. Additionally, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will interrupt all broadcast and cable radio and television programming.
“This is a rare opportunity to mirror real-world scenarios where all warning tools are activated simultaneously, enhancing the value of the combined drills,” said Eric Waage, director of Emergency Management for Hennepin County, about the importance of this strategic alignment.
Normally, Hennepin County performs regular siren testing at 1 P.M. on the first Wednesday of each month. However, conducting two drills in such close proximity could potentially cause confusion and heightened anxiety among the public. This alignment offers a valuable learning experience for the community and ensures that they are familiar with the different warning tools at their disposal.
The monthly drills are also a good reminder to check your emergency preparedness plans and kits. For tips and checklists, please visit Plan Ahead for Disasters.