Plano City Council approved the use of a portion of park land for the construction of a new outdoor warning siren. In an eight to zero vote during the July 23 meeting, Department of Emergency Management Director Carrie Reyes got the greenlight to proceed with the project. Outdoor sirens are an important tool used to alert the public of immediate threats to life and a variety of hazards.
A 2015 study conducted by American Communications identified some deficiencies in siren placement, where small pockets of Plano residents weren’t hearing the warning messages adequately. A new device is needed now because increases in traffic noise and new developments near Parkwood Green Park have altered the effectiveness of the existing sound. Adding a new siren improves coverage in an underserved and growing area.
There will be minimum impact to the park and no tree removal is required. The proposed site for the omni-directional, solar-powered siren takes up a 4 x 4 foot area of Parkwood Green Park, 2500 Parkwood Blvd. at McFarland Drive. All easement use requirements were met to allow placement of the siren on park land. A 70 foot concrete pole (15 foot underground) is mounted with a 12 foot siren head array. Total cost of the project is $60,000.
“Emergency Management is the public face of the sirens, but this is a multi-department effort. We locate potential sites for equipment on Parks and Recreation property and other facilities, Communications and Community Outreach helps get the word out, the Radio Shop maintains the sirens and Public Safety Communication dispatch actually presses the button,” Reyes said in her presentation.
Now that the project has City Council and Park Board approval, emergency management staff moves forward by notifying neighboring residents and homeowners associations about the pending construction date.
Learn more about emergency warnings.
Learn about the Outdoor Warning System in Plano.
See a map of current Plano outdoor warning siren locations.