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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Siren song

siren_full.jpg Whoa! Spotted this thing just this morning at the southeast corner of Iles Park (Springfield, Illinois). I think this might be the new tornado siren for my neighborhood. Not a pretty sight. Of course, the old ones weren't all that attractive, either.

After the big tornados came screaming through town last Spring, and the subsequent failure of certain sirens to sound due to power failure when the second wave of tornados hit that same night, the City of Springfield decided to invest about a million dollars in all new sirens.

Notice the tree in the picture. More than six months later, there are still a lot of those topped off trees around town. This tree is on Park District property, so it's really their problem and not the city's. But, the city has been doing a pretty good job of getting rid of the damaged trees in the parkways and such.

Wikipedia has quit a bit of useful information on civil defense sirens.

The sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. However, the sirens can't be heard through the walls of most offices I've worked in. I wonder if these new ones can.

So, for those amongst us who just can't get enough of the sound of warning sirens blaring, or who have never had the pleasure of being awakened at 3:00 in the morning by sirens going off, Federal Signal has some sound files on their web site for your listening pleasure.

But first, a WARNING: Do not play these files in your office, at the library, Panera Bread, or any other public place for that matter. I wouldn't want to think something I linked to on the internet got someone else tossed out on their ear, or got them fired from the job.

Just do yourself a favor and play these in the privacy of your home with the doors and windows closed and the speakers turned up super loud.

Federal Signal: A variety of sirens (scroll to the bottom of the page), including my personal favorite, the Westminster. But, we don't get that one around here. I also like the little hand crank portable siren. It's so cute.

Okay, I just found someone who collects siren sounds. I didn't listen to all of these, but I particularly enjoyed the attack wail at the Vermont Nuclear Power Plant. Reminds me of the old air raid drills we had back in grade school.

Speaking of air raid drills, I did not like having to squat in the most uncomfortable position with my head between my knees. As if doing this while steel and concrete shrapnel pierces the skin on back of my neck is going to save my life.

The odd angle of the pole in the photo is the result of three pictures having been stitched together. It looks like there are only two pictures, but there really are three.

This was my first attempt at stitching. Apparently, the software only stitches from left to right. So, I had to rotate the three photos each 90 degrees clockwise. Stitch them. Then rotate the whole thing left 90 degrees. In real life, the pole is perfectly straight up and down. Just not in this photo.

Posted by Marie at October 1, 2006 1:45 PM


That's an American Warning Signal Tempest T-128 mechanical siren -

Love those sounds you found. Here's another from Broken Arrow, OK - They've got sounds for tornado, flood and attack.

Posted by: Joe at October 1, 2006 8:55 PM

Great finds, Joe. Thanks.

Posted by: Marie at October 1, 2006 9:02 PM