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Warning siren upgrade for two cities

By Karissa Manis, Producer, kmanis@wcyb.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:38:42 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 10 2013 06:14:18 AM CST

Bristol, Tennessee and Kingsport will soon be getting an upgrade on their emergency alert systems. "Our equipment's old and it's time to upgrade and we want to do it where we don't take too big of a bite out of the apple at one time, and spread it out and try to put these things in when we have to," says Bristol, Tennessee Chief of Police Blaine Wade.

Bristol, Tennessee currently has five warning sirens and they are getting two additional ones. "During the last probably two years, we've had to actually set those off for severe weather, particularly tornado warnings," says Chief Wade.

Kingsport Fire Chief Craig Dye tells News 5, Kingsport used to have two sirens, at Eastman and Domtar. But, they shut those down January first and are getting four new ones. "They'll be at fire station 3 on Memorial Blvd., fire station 2 out there at Dobyns-Bennett, fire station 1 here and fire station 4 on West Stone Drive near Walmart."

Their goal is to alert as many people that they can if an emergency, such as severe weather, was to occur. "Sirens are designed to reach about 70 decibels for a mile radious, so you can actually, outside of a mile hear these things," says Chief Wade.

Kingsport residents can sign up for emergency text messaging and if you don't have a cell phone, both Bristol and Kingsport offer reverse 9-1-1 calls for those with landlines. "System through dispatch that does the calling. We call it reverse calling, instead of you calling 9-1-1...9-1-1 calls you and that gives you the information directly," says Chief Dye.

Something resident Brittany Wolfe says is worth the cost. "I think it'd be much better with all the storms we've been having here lately and stuff."

Kingsport residents who wish to sign up for free text alerts are asked to go to kingsportsullivantn.onthealert.com or kingsporttn.gov