The annual full-scale test of the county Early Warning System sirens and reverse-911 call system went off without a hitch on Saturday morning, officials said.
All 131 emergency sirens functioned correctly when tested at noon and 12:30 p.m. for three minutes to ensure they could be started from two activation points, said Kelly Van Buren, emergency services coordinator.
The sirens are installed in the San Luis Obispo County Emergency Planning Zone, which extends from Cayucos south to Nipomo Mesa and east through San Luis Obispo. The early warning system was installed as a requirement for the licensing of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The system can also be used for any other local emergency.
For the second year in a row, the reverse-911 system was also tested. Between 9 a.m. and noon, the test was scheduled to call all land lines within the emergency zone, as well as all cell phones registered with the system.
The calls weren’t done by noon, however, so phones in Grover Beach, Oceano, Arroyo Grande and northern Nipomo were not called, Van Buren said.
“We haven’t quite gotten a grasp yet on how long it takes to make all of the calls because the number of registered cell phones is keeps growing,” she said. “But we’re confident the system works.”
The 1-minute recorded message said the call was a test of the reverse-911 system and that sirens also were being tested. Register here to receive reverse-911 calls.