Some local residents will undoubtedly hear sirens going off Monday and Tuesday (July 28 and 29) as Eastern Illinois University tests the newest additions to its emergency notification system.
Crews will be installing two new sirens and public address speakers, according to Gary Hanebrink, campus safety officer. And as the new installations will need to be tested, EIU employees and Charleston residents who live and/or work near campus are likely to hear emergency notification sirens, as well as tornado warning sirens and public address messages, sounding numerous times over the two-day period.
Jeffrey Ryba, president of Braniff Communications Inc., added that the bulk of the testing will take place during normal business hours on Tuesday, and that each test will likely be "limited, short in nature -- a minute or less."
If case of actual threatening weather over the city, the testing of the siren system will be discontinued.
The two new sirens will supplement an existing siren located near the center of campus, and are expected to enhance the effectiveness of the current system.
In case of a crisis, the emergency notification siren (recognized as a pulse tone) signals EIU students, faculty and staff to check their EIU-assigned e-mail for information regarding a possible non-weather-related threat on campus.
This siren should not be confused with the normal continuous tone used by the Coles County Emergency Management Agency as a severe weather alert.
Both are regularly tested on the first Tuesday of each month -- one (continuous tone) at 10 a.m. and the other (pulse tone) at 10:30. Normal testing of the systems is scheduled to resume on Aug. 5.