Outdoor Early Warning System

Rio Grande Community Outdoor Early Warning System

The community of Rio Grande recently acquired and installed an outdoor early warning system. The purpose of the system is to warn citizens of impending emergencies such as severe weather, hazardous material spills, and other critical incidents such as terrorist attacks or an active shooter in one of our area schools or at the University of Rio Grande.

The system consists of two large sirens mounted on 50 foot poles. One is installed near the Berry Fine & Performing Arts Center along State Route 325 at the University of Rio Grande, and the second is installed on the south facing hill on the campus of Buckeye Hills Career Center. This system will provide protection to all citizens of Rio Grande and vicinity.

The sirens rotate 360 degrees and can be heard indoors or out up to one mile away once activated. The system also has a public address function that will allow for voice instructions during an emergency. The system is activated via radio and controlled by the Gallia County 911 Communications Center in Gallipolis. Once activated, both sirens at the University and Buckeye Hills Career Center will sound simultaneously. The early warning system is fully self contained and is battery and solar powered.

To maintain the system it has to be tested weekly. This test will occur at noon on Saturdays. On the first Saturday of each month an audible siren tone test will occur in which you will hear a test tone from the system. The remaining Saturday noon tests of the month will be a silent function test. Although we understand that the audible test once a month may be annoying to some, it is necessary to ensure the system is functioning properly when it is needed in a real emergency. This system will be placed in service on January 1st, 2009 with the first audible test being conducted on Saturday January 3rd, 2009 at 12:00 noon.

What do I do if I hear a siren tone and what do the different tones mean?

It remains important for all to know the different tones and what each tone means especially our children and students at our secondary schools and the University of Rio Grande. Below is a list of the tones and what action you should take in the event a real emergency is broadcast:

This tone is to alert to an active shooter, terrorist attack, or other serious school emergency.

INSTRUCTIONS: Lockdown in place, lock all home or building exterior and interior doors. Stand by for further public address instructions. Wait for all clear tone.

This tone is for tornado warnings and any other severe weather forecast for Rio Grande and vicinity that will potentially produce significant property damage and injuries to persons.

INSTRUCTIONS: Seek shelter immediately in an area or room deemed safest in your building or home. Stand by for further public address instructions. Wait for all clear tone.

This tone is to warn of a hazardous materials emergency.

INSTRUCTIONS: Shelter in place, close all doors and windows, and stand by for further public address instructions.

This is the tone to announce all clear. The emergency is over.

INSTRUCTIONS: The emergency no longer exist resume normal activity.

Is there a source where I can become familiar with the different siren tones?

It is essential that all citizens, students, and visitors, and those who are employed in the Rio Grande area familiarize themselves with siren tones above.

You may access these tones on the following web sites:

This system was made possible by a joint effort by the University of Rio Grande, Village of Rio Grande, Buckeye Hills Career Center, Gallipolis City Schools, Gallia County Local Schools, Gallia County Board of Commissioners, Gallia County 911, Gallia County Emergency Management Agency, Bob Evans Farm, Buckeye Rural Electric, and Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.

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