Douglas County Sheriff's Office


 Justice Building • Roseburg, Oregon 97470 • (541) 440-4450

John Hanlin


Date/Time of Release:  04/25/2011 - 13:00
Contact Person:  Dwes Hutson  
Contact Number:  541-440-4464  
Subject:  Audible Tsunami Siren Tests  
Date/Time of Incident:  05/04/2011 - 11:00
Incident Location:  Coastal Areas of Douglas County, Oregon  
Case Number:  n/a  
n/a:  n/a

Due to requests from coastal response agencies Douglas County intends to start audible outdoor tsunami testing on May 4, 2011.

Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 104-030-0000 provides guidance on the date and time of said tests. In order to be in line with the OAR, it is our intent to conduct the tests on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:00 AM. The test will be a “wail” tone which oscillates up and down. The test will last 15 seconds.

Douglas County has a system of 5 outdoor sirens in the following locations:

• Community of Gardiner, located at the Fire Station
• City of Reedsport, located at the Courthouse Annex
• Winchester Bay – Salmon Harbor, Ork Park Road
• Winchester Bay – ATV Staging area, Salmon Harbor Drive
• 3rd Beach Parking Lot – Salmon Harbor Drive

We distinguish between a tsunami caused by an undersea earthquake near the Oregon coast (LOCAL TSUNAMI) and an undersea earthquake far away from the coast (DISTANT TSUNAMI).

A LOCAL TSUNAMI could come onshore within 15 to 20 minutes after the earthquake—before there is time for official warning from a national warning system. Ground-shaking from the earthquake may be the only warning you have. Evacuate quickly!

A distant tsunami will take four hours or more to come onshore. You will feel no earthquake, and the tsunami will generally be smaller than that from a local earthquake. There will typically be time for an official warning and evacuation to safety.

Outdoor sirens are just one tool for notifications of citizens and are primarily for Distant Tsunamis. Other systems;

• Douglas County Citizen Emergency Notification System (DCCENS). DCCENS is a telephone alerting system. Landline telephones are pre-programmed into the system but citizens must register their cellular phones if they want to receive the calls via cellular phones.

• Emergency Alert System (EAS) The EAS is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to

• NOAA All Hazard Weather Radio – in 2008 Douglas County received funding to install a NOAA Weather Radio on Winchester Hill. The radio transmits on 162.525 MHz. This is an excellent means to receive Tsunami information as well as weather and marine related information. The radio transmits 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Receivers cost $20 -$200 depending on the features and are available from a large variety of suppliers.

Citizens need to understand the difference between Distant and Local Tsunamis, the response to each and the evacuations zones for each. In addition, it is highly recommended that citizens purchase NOAA All Hazard radio receivers. They can be battery operated and are extremely dependable.

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