Biloxi Tests its City-Wide Alert System

From:  City of Biloxi   8/2/17   GCN

Residents throughout Biloxi heard a one-minute test of the city’s emergency warning system today at noon.

The city’s 10 warning sirens are tested simultaneously the first Wednesday of every month, blasting a tornado alert for one minute. The sirens are to help alert residents to the impending dangers of a tornado or hurricane. 

The tests should also prompt residents and business owners to think about their plan of action in the event of an actual emergency, Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said.

“If at work, where would you shelter? If at home, where would you shelter?” Boney said. “How is your family prepared? Have you developed an emergency plan with your family? What will happen if you cannot contact them during an emergency?”

During an actual emergency, the tones will be triggered by the National Weather Service issuing tornado or hurricane warnings for the area.  An actual warning siren will sound for three minutes instead of the one minute used for tests.

Once you hear the tones, you should seek safe shelter and tune to local media as well as the city’s Facebook or Twitter pages for more information. For any concerns, call the Biloxi Police and Fire departments at 228-392-0641.

The 10 siren towers are positioned throughout the city. The locations are Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center on Porter Avenue; fire stations on Howard Avenue, Elder Street, Pass Road, Veterans Avenue, West Oaklawn Road, and Woolmarket Road; at the city’s two fire stations on Popp’s Ferry Road; and at a Coast Electric substation on Old Highway 67.

Hear the tornado warning tone 
Hear the hurricane warning tone
Visit the city’s Storm and Flood Preparedness page 
 
Downtown to test new GIS-based signage

Biloxi Main Street is installing more than 70 temporary wayfinding signs throughout downtown to answer to the often-asked questions from visitors: How can I find out what is going on around here?”

“We are installing a unique GIS-based wayfinding signage system throughout our downtown district to not only point the way to dozens of  attractions, restaurants and nightclubs but to provide detailed walking maps by the scanning of a QR code on visitors’ cell phones,” said Kay Miller, executive director of Biloxi Main Street.

While waiting to have permanent and historically-appropriate signs installed in the district, the Main Street’s Economic Vitality committee, headed by Pat Wylie of Mississippi Power, came up with the idea of using the “Walk your City” temporary sign system to ensure visitors to the area know how to locate the many attractions in Biloxi’s downtown area.

Each sign features a directional arrow and a QR code linked to Google Maps to give direction to the attractions listed on each sign.

“We received a grant from the Knight Cities Foundation administered by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to allow this signage system to happen,” Miller said.  “Now the thousands of visitors to our downtown Biloxi will have an immediate mechanism to get directions to our attractions and get detailed Google maps on their mobile devices as well.”

All the wayfinding signs are catalogued on a mobile app that gives Main Street immediate metrics to see which signs are receiving the most and least scans to make decisions on subsequent sign placement.

Video: See how Walk Your City works