Weather sirens planned for Westlake

The town of Westlake is preparing an emergency weather warning siren system for installation this summer.



Westlake Fire Chief Richard Whitten said the town has put together a $99,000 budget for installation at three siren locations in the community: 2050 Roanoke Road at TD Auto Finance, 2600 JT Ottinger Road at Westlake Academy, and on Davis Boulevard south of Dove Road.



"Our primary focus is the safety of our residents, so we are thrilled to provide a wider range of coverage for an outdoor warning system," Whitten said. "In the past, only those living near our bordering cities could hear the sirens."



Once installed, the sirens will immediately go live, Whitten said. There will be a testing protocol that will include likely monthly trials to ensure the system is fully functioning.



"We have not set our schedule yet, but the general standard is once a month," Whitten said. "We will be sending our residents information about the tests and keeping them informed each step of the way."



Whitten said the community's sirens will be activated in accordance with protocols established by the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Natural emergencies, transportation accidents with hazardous materials, acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events are candidates for alerts. Weather systems such as tornadoes in the community or neighboring communities, thunderstorms with winds of 70 miles per hour or greater or hail storms with hail in excess of 1.25 inches in diameter are prime candidates for weather alerts by NCTCOG standards.



The system will work in conjunction with Westlake's CodeRED system, which distributes alerts via phone calls and sends text and email notifications.



"The sirens will enhance our emergency warning system, targeting people who are outdoors and not near computers or phones to receive CodeRED alerts," Whitten said.



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