~ The City of St. Louis is taking steps to improve its outdoor warning system in order to better protect its residents and visitors during emergencies. The City's Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), a division of the Department of Public Safety, has announced a plan to update and enhance the current system with a budget of $3.9 million.

This decision comes after concerns were raised about the inconsistent testing results of the current system. CEMA is determined to address these issues and ensure that the outdoor warning system is reliable and effective in providing emergency notifications. To achieve this goal, CEMA has begun accepting Request for Qualifications (RFQs) from potential contractors.

The process of securing a contractor, conducting site surveys, finalizing designs, and replacing the infrastructure is expected to continue until 2025. "Ensuring the reliability of our outdoor warning system remains a top priority," stated Sarah Russell, Commissioner of CEMA. "We are committed to addressing any reported issues and are working diligently to secure the necessary resources for this system."

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In addition to these efforts, CEMA is also encouraging residents, businesses, and visitors to register for NotifySTL, an emergency alert system that provides timely notifications during inclement weather or other hazards. Recently, NotifySTL has added public service announcements in multiple languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Hindi, Swahili, Bosnian, and Dari/Patscho to encourage more people to sign up for the service.

Gilberto Pinela, director of St. Louis City's Office of New Americans emphasized the importance of language access for diverse communities in staying informed during emergencies: "Our priority on language access is key for our linguistically diverse communities to thrive and know they belong here."

In addition to signing up for NotifySTL, city residents are also advised to invest in a battery-powered National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio as a backup in case of power outages.

For companies interested in submitting an RFQ, the city's Board of Public Service Website is the place to go. And for residents, business owners, and visitors who want to sign up or update their emergency notification preferences, the city's NotifySTL website is available for their convenience.

The City of St. Louis is taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its community during emergencies. With these updates and improvements to the outdoor warning system, residents and visitors can feel more secure and prepared for any potential hazards that may arise.

Filed Under: Government, City

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