Office of Emergency Management, Public Safety
Outdoor Warning System
UPDATE TO INSTALLATION OF NEW OEWS: The upgrades to the City of Longmont Outdoor Emergency Warning System (OEWS) are complete. The new system was designed to improve performance and reliability. As a result there are some changes to the new system.
1. The siren horns will no longer rotate. They are being replaced with eight 400 watt speakers per siren that will provide 3200 watts of audio power. The horns are true re-entrant, directional and exponential speaker horns that can be tilted or directed as needed. These “omni-directional” sirens will change the way sound is delivered. The sound will no longer get louder and softer as the speakers rotate, but should instead remain constant.
2. It is our expectation that the level of coverage will increase in the city. However, if you are in an area that experienced good coverage in the old system and you can no longer hear the sirens while outside your home or business, we are interested in hearing from you. There are some adjustments that can be made that may increase coverage in your area. Please email the Office of Emergency Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Locations of Outdoor Emergency System Poles (and pole #): NW corner of 9th and Pace (5), NW corner or Hover and Nelson (7), 21st and Daley Drive (8), SW corner of Hwy 66 and Main (9), south of Hwy 66 between Pace and Sundance (10), NW corner of 17th and Harvard (11), 17th and Main (LEU parking lot) (12), Fordham and Pike (13), west of 9th and Wade north of RR tracks (14), 3rd and Sunset at water tower (15), 6th and Main Street east side of Pumphouse (16), Hwy 119 and WCR 5 (17), 75th Street south of Nelson (18), Pratt and Main (19), Ken Pratt and 119th Street (20), Airport Road and Nelson (21), Pike Road and South Main Street (22).
Here are a few things we would like to remind our community about:
- Please DO NOT call 911 during a test of the OEWS unless you have a true emergency. It is imperative that 911 lines remain open and allow us to respond to life-threatening situations.
- The City of Longmont will utilize the OEWS for tornados threatening to Longmont. We will not utilize the OEWS for flooding. The City of Boulder and Boulder County DO use their sirens for flooding, but it is our philosophy at Longmont OEM that sirens are utilized for a single purpose. As a reminder, when you hear the sirens and it is not the first Monday of the month at 10:00, go immediately inside and tune to local media for updates.
- Please take a minute to sign up for the Everbridge system. Everbridge is a notification tool that allows the city to contact you via email as well on other mobile devices during an emergency. For additional information, details and sign-up information, please visit our Everbridge internet page.
The City of Longmont funded this project through the capital improvement program and worked with the existing vendor, ATI Systems, Inc. to upgrade the system. This allowed the city to utilize existing infrastructure, re-use some portions of the system and keep the cost of the system as low as possible.
The Longmont Outdoor Emergency Warning System is tested on the first Monday of each month at 10am, April through August.
The Outdoor Emergency Warning System (OEWS) consists of a series of public address speakers installed on top of poles located throughout the city. Other than for testing, the system will only be used to notify the community when immediate action should be taken. The sirens are OUTDOOR warning sirens and are designed to be heard OUTDOORS but you may hear a siren inside if you are near a siren location. The system is radio controlled by the Longmont Emergency Communications Center and operates on solar charged batteries. The system remains functional even in the event of a power failure or when phone lines are down.
If you hear the sirens, and it is not the first Monday of the month at 10am, seek shelter immediately and tune in to local media for detailed information. Any local television station and 850 KOA (AM) radio are good choices.
Please DO NOT CALL 911 following an OEWS activation unless you have an emergency. During disaster situations, it is critical to keep the 911 lines available for citizens who require immediate assistance.
The OEWS can be activated as a whole system, or any part of the system. This could be used to target a specific portion of the city. It also has a public address capability that can be used.
The OEWS is only one of the ways that citizens can be warned of an emergency. We also have an emergency callback system that can be activated for any geographic area of the city. This system will only call "land lines" that are tied to a physical address and will not contact cell phones or VIOP phones.
Residents are urged to sign up for the Boulder County 9-1-1 mass notification for cell phones, emails, VOIP, etc. This is recommended for anyone who does not have a hard wired "land line" phone installed in their home (or business) or for anyone who routinely spends a lot of time away from a hard wired "land line" phone.
The city also has the ability to broadcast on the city cable network (Channels 8 and 16). These combine to give the city a robust emergency warning system that will allow us to contact as many people as possible.
The city also has an email based subscription called e-alert. Although this system is not intended for emergency notification, city personnel can use it to send email messages directly to subscribers with late-breaking updates on issues such as West Nile virus, traffic street closures, city council news and several other categories. For more information on e-alert.
more information about emergency preparedness in Longmont, please call the City of Longmont, Office of Emergency Management at (303) 651-8438 or contact us by email.