The Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt installed a siren system in 2015 that will conveys messages of warning across the confines of CFB Esquimalt but it is likely it also can be heard by nearby municipalities.
It’s meant to be a mass notification system and the siren will sound once per month as a test. The test takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at 11 a.m. This is to cause the least amount of disruption possible.
Here’s what the siren will alert for and sound like:
- Test tone: The 30 second test tone that will take place once per month will consist of alternating tones and it will be followed by a voice message that will say, “This is a test of the siren system. It is only a test. If this had been a real alarm, listen to this system for further instructions. This is a test.”
- Wail tone: Means an evacuation is impending. It will last one minute and will sound like a wailing siren.
- Evacuation warning: This is an immediate evacuation warning. It will follow a wail tone, then a voice will say, “An evacuation order has been issued for the base and you must leave now. This is not a drill; an evacuation order has been issued for the Base, leave now.”
- Tsunami alert: It will follow a wail tone, then a voice will say, “Tsunami alert, tsunami alert. Move to higher ground or inland now.” This is not a drill. Tsunami alert, tsunami alert, move to higher ground now.”
- Shelter tone: Repeated blasts of a single tone to let people know to take shelter.
- Shelter message: Repeated blasts followed by a voice that will say, “A dangerous condition exists on the base and you must seek shelter indoors. Seek shelter now. Do not proceed outside until directed to do so. This is not a drill.”
- Lockdown Message: Repeated blasts followed by a voice that will say, “ “Security alert, security alert. This is a Base Emergency. Commence lockdown procedures now. This is not a drill.”
- All-clear tone: This will resemble Westminster chimes. This tone will play when and if a warning has been cancelled. Following the chimes tone a voice message will say, “All clear. All clear.”
CFB Esquimalt recommends that if you hear the test tone that occurs on the first Wednesday of every month, you disregard it and go about your day as usual.
If you hear any of the other warning tones though, tune into the news and stand by for further instructions.