Every Tuesday at noon, for about as long as anyone cares to remember, the City of San Francisco has conducted a test of its emergency alert siren system. If you need reminder of what that sounds like, just listen right here. Or, wait a few minutes, and the siren will play today. At noon. Like always.
If you’re out of town, and feeling nostalgic for the weekly test, you can also get it via Twitter:
San Francisco’s Outdoor Public Warning System has been in place since 1942, and the system now includes 109 siren towers sprinkled around the City. Here in Bernal, there’s one (strategically) perched on Bernal Hill right next to Sutrito Tower, as well as one atop Leonard Flynn Elementary School in Precitaville.
The Tuesday tests are managed from the Department of Emergency Management headquarters in Western Addition. The test features a 15 second “wail” tone, followed by a recorded message that says, “This is a test. This is a test of the Outdoor Public Warning System. This is only a test.” (FUN FACT: Apparently, the voice on that recorded message is Dave Morey, the former KFOG DJ.) In the event of real emergency, the sirens will play continuously for 5 minutes, followed by instructions and announcements for the general public.
Another fun fact: The Tuesday siren tests are actually conducted manually, by a guy named Cesar. This awesome little video will introduce you to Cesar and show you how he makes the siren tests go “Waaaaaaaaaaaa!”
PHOTO: Telstar Logistics