June 20-- An emergency siren network to alert residents in four counties around Plant Hatch is delayed because the sirens are not loud enough.
Emergency management officials from southest Georgia met in Vidalia Wednesday and learned the 80 sirens installed in Toombs, Jeff Davis, Tattnall and Appling counties by the Southern Company need to be upgraded and tested, according to Toombs County EMA Director Lynn Moore.
"When the sirens were manufactured they didn't meet the specs to make an audible sound. FEMA tested them over in Plant Farley which has the same sirens as Plant Hatch and they failed. The manufacturer is in the process of re-doing the driver which will make the siren louder. It's going to be at least next year and we have to go through the testing process so it could be two years down the road before they are used," he says.
Once installed, Moore says the sirens will become the primary alert in case of a nuclear emergency at Plant Hatch. "If you hear that siren go off, other than when you are notified about a test, something has happened which is strictly a nuclear incident."
Emergency officials also heard from the director of the Disability Resource Group who reminded them to remember disabled and special needs people when disaster strikes. Nancy Duncan, who is blind, advises disabled citizens to make their own plans about what to do in case of an emergency.
"You have to take responsibility for yourself. There are 1.5 million Georgians with disabilities and we don't have enough emergency people or first responders to go around," she says.
Duncan recommends three websites for planning purposes including www.resourcegroup.org; www.gema.gov and www.fema.gov.