San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


The San Marcos Office of Emergency Management will test 14 outdoor emergency warning sirens at noon Saturday, Feb. 16. Tests will not take place if severe weather is threatening.

The sirens sound a tone similar to a fire truck wail and are designed to warn people who are outside that they should immediately seek shelter indoors. Residents are encouraged to buy a weather alert radio for indoor warning purposes. In a real emergency, residents should not call 911 unless they have a life-threatening situation.

During emergencies, resources with more information will include:

  • Radio: KZOS FM 92.5 or KTSW FM 89.9
  • Web: San Marcos Emergency Management and The San Marcos Mercury
  • Emergency recording: 512-393-8488
  • TV: Time Warner Channel 10 or Grande Channel 16
  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:

The $334,000 warning system was installed with the help of a federal hazard mitigation grant in 2012 to provide residents with early warning of dangerous weather or other emergencies. After the initial test, the sirens will be tested on a regular basis.

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9 thoughts on “City to test warning sirens on Saturday

  1. WHAT A BOONDOGGLE, i watched the testimony. Nice use of 80s facts, when we now have cell phones and Facebook. So glad we have so much money to waste – there goes your situational awareness…and what exactly is the emergency…the siren’s don’t tell you….

  2. LMC,

    Sigh. Not everyone in San Marcos is connected to the web or uses cell phones or text messaging, particularly the elderly. Not everyone has a TV, or is listening to the radio all day long.

    I don’t see what the problem with a warning system is….

  3. Cori,
    Ask around town who heard them and who could not. Most had to all walk outside to hear them ONLY because of the news coverage. They don’t advise as to the emergency, nor what to do in the case of an emergency. And, if they can decrease situational awareness. And, cost $334,000 – sigh, and we can’t afford to purchase Cape’s Camp. Im sure the elderly would prefer a safe location with food and water, that could be paid for with the $334,000.
    Best, LMC

  4. Lori, did you read the article?? It says how much it cost, where the money came from and that the sirens are to warn people who are already outside. The though being is if you are at the river, the park, or some other outdoor activity, you will be alerted to a possible adverse situation.

  5. Ron,

    I did read the article — I was responding to a *comment* that said the sirens weren’t needed because facebook and cell phones exist.

    I agree that they are useful for the folks who are outdoors or recreating on the river!

  6. The testimony in the city council first meeting was that back in the 80s people did not know the water was rising due to no TV coverage and we need these expensive siren systems. This is the exact opposite of the logic supporters of the boondoggle are employing, i.e. we need to run inside for safety. Would you not want to get away and leave the area in the case of flooding? Would you not want to know exactly what the emergency is so that you can be proactive to protect your family and be a good neighbor citizen? And, again they can decrease situational awareness when disaster strikes. A system with phone robo dials and e-mails and texts would have been much less costly. And, since there is no evacuation plan for Victory Gardens in the case of another spill from a train derailing….the funds could have gone to sometime much more PROACTIVE and useful, relevant to our community vs. some generic grant program. But, its so much less work to think inside of the box. Speak with those that lived thru those disasters and ask them what the “game plan is now.”

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