Approximately a year ago, the City of Sheboygan’s Department of Public Works began a capital project to evaluate and upgrade an aging emergency warning siren system in the City of Sheboygan. Some components of the existing siren system were prone to failure and had been in place since the 1950s. Through the process of evaluation and redesign of the system, some siren locations were moved and in some cases the sirens were changed. Some of the new sirens are designed to cover larger areas and have a different pitch that allows the signal to travel further thereby providing coverage to greater areas with fewer sirens to maintain. Currently the entire city is covered by an array of individual sirens. When activated, citizens may notice a different sound than they have for years, but will still be able to hear the warning.
Additional improvements with this upgraded system include the ability to gather feedback on the operation of individual sirens, individual activation of individual sirens, quieter and shorter duration of siren testing, remote activation potential by emergency management officials, individual siren back up power and consolidated system controls at the now combined Sheboygan County Communications Center.
It should also be mentioned that these warnings are not designed to wake, or alert persons in their homes. Rather, they are to alert people who are outdoors so that they may be aware and seek shelter. The better plan for indoor notification is a weather alert radio than can be purchased at a reasonable cost. Further notifications can be obtained from local and regional media sources such as broadcast television and radio.