If you live or work near Lacey Township's Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant, expect to hear the alarms today. 

New Oyster Creek siren (L) next to an old one
New Oyster Creek siren (L) next to an old one (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

As part of their routine practice, plant owner Exelon will conduct a full systemwide siren test of their 42 units placed in the ten mile radius of the plant.  But this time it's different and extra special.

All of the 42 sirens have been replaced with state-of-the-art devices, complete with a battery backup system.  The testing is being performed in accordance with FEMA requirements.  The new outdoor warning sirens incorporate an upgraded communication system that enable full functionality in the event of an electrical power outage or malfunction.

The warning sirens are one of several methods used by county emergency management agencies to provide notification of emergencies.  Individual counties may activate the sirens to warn the surrounding areas and communities of any situation.

Listen to the new Oyster Creek tone

During Superstorm Sandy, 33 of the 42 old sirens were not operational.  Plant spokesperson Suzanne D'Ambrosio says "that won't happen again.  These new sirens are better and more efficient than the old ones.  This upgrade was planned way before the Superstorm but it has shined a light on the need for urgent action."

Residents with siren concerns should drop a call over to the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management at 732-341-3451.

The sirens will be tested at 9:30 a.m. and then again at 2:30 p.m.

Next Wednesday, May 29th, the sirens will be tested at various points in the day.

As always, the sirens are not a signal to evacuate the area.  In the event of an actual emergency, the sirens direct everyone to turn to their Emergency Alert System Radio or TV stations for information.

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