CEMA Announces Upgrades to Outdoor Warning Siren (OWS) System, Encourages Residents to Sign Up For NotifySTL, with PSAs Available in an Additional Six Languages

A total of $3.9 million has been allocated toward the replacement and ongoing maintenance of this  system.

April 23, 2024 | 2 min reading time

The City of St. Louis Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), a division of the Department of Public Safety, announces its plan to update and improve the city’s outdoor warning system. A total of $3.9 million has been allocated toward the replacement and ongoing maintenance of this system.

After several inconsistent testing concerns, CEMA continues to find ways to improve its current system’s ability to provide adequate coverage for emergency notifications. To address these issues, CEMA has started the process of accepting Request for Qualifications (RFQs) from potential contractors. The process of securing a contractor, conducting a site survey, signing off on the final design, and ultimately replacing the infrastructure will continue into the year 2025.

“Ensuring the reliability of our outdoor warning system remains a top priority,” said Sarah Russell, Commissioner of CEMA. “We are committed to addressing the reported issues and are working diligently to secure the necessary resources for this system.”

In an effort to keep the public informed during inclement weather and other hazards, CEMA encourages residents, businesses and visitors to register for the NotifySTL emergency alert system to ensure they receive proper notifications. Recently, NotifySTL added PSAs in Spanish, Vietnamese, Hindi, Swahili, Bosnian and Dari/Patscho urging residents to sign up for the system to be better prepared for emergencies.

“Our priority on language access is key for our linguistically diverse communities to thrive and know they belong here,” Gilberto Pinela, director of St. Louis City’s Office of New Americans.

City residents should also consider investing in a battery-powered National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio to stay up-to-date on changing weather conditions in the event of potential power outages.

For companies interested in submitting an RFQ, visit the city’s Board of Public Service Website.

For residents, business owners and visitors interested in signing up or amending how they currently receive emergency notifications, visit the city’s NotifySTL website.

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