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Overhaul of state siren warning system moves on to Maui

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 12:03 p.m. HST, Jun 25, 2013

The activation control overhaul for Oahu's emergency warning sirens has been completed, according to State Civil Defense, amending a statement released by its contractor earlier today.

The activation control system is "basically how we turn on the sirens," said Shelly Kunishige, Civil Defense public information officer.

The work will now progress to Maui, she said.

The announcement comes as the formation of Hurricane Cosme near the coast of Mexico has been announced. Pacific hurricane season started June 1 and runs through November.

Illinois-based Federal Signal Alerting & Notification Systems says the project encompasses replacement of existing VHF (very high frequency) and trunked radio networks, with redundant satellite and cellular communications for controlling and monitoring warning sirens statewide. The project also includes the replacement of aging siren equipment.

The state of Hawaii’s new emergency warning and communications system covers the largest geographical area of any U.S. system, the company said.

"The system will cover four counties and six islands spanning over 300 miles and provide the state with a common communications infrastructure,” said John Von Thaden, vice president and general manager of Federal Signal, in a statement.

“The new system provides the state with the ability to monitor every siren from a centralized location. Our job was to integrate the islands through an efficient and redundant method using connected, streamlined technologies,” he said.

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