VITEMA to Begin Monthly “Know the Tone” Tsunami Siren Testing

Monthly testing and evaluation of the territory’s 44 tsunami sirens will begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday on all four islands, the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency announced Tuesday.

A new tsunami siren was erected at Magens Bay beach in May. A total of 44 were installed across the territory after the warning network was largely destroyed in the hurricanes of September 2017. (Photo by VITEMA)

The test will include a 60-second warning tone. Follow-up voice announcements will only take place if there were to be an actual emergency event, the release stated.

The tsunami siren testing program will take place on the first Thursday of
each month with two main purposes, VITEMA said, the first purpose being the testing program is designed to alert individuals within 1⁄4 mile of each siren’s location and may be enhanced or reduced in range by existing winds.

The second purpose is to afford both residents and visitors alike the opportunity to become familiar with the tone and the procedures that should be taken in the event of an actual tsunami. Tsunami risks apply to all areas of the territory that are at or near sea level and are not just restricted to beaches, VITEMA said.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the Territorial Siren Testing Initiative.
The volunteers would need to be about a block away from the siren pole itself and
complete a short form as to the volume and clarity of the messages being broadcast.

To volunteer on St Croix, contact Regina Browne, deputy director of Planning
and Preparedness, at 340-422-1350. To volunteer on St Thomas/St John/Water Island, contact Shantelle Bully-Eddy, Training and Exercise coordinator, at 340-774-2244, ext. 6823.

“The testing of our Tsunami Warning Sirens on a continuing basis is an important
part of building confidence throughout the territory as well as educating
individuals located near the sirens on their capabilities as well as limitations. It is
beneficial to residents and visitors alike to Get to ‘Know the Tone’ and what to do
in the case of an actual tsunami event,” said VITEMA Director Daryl Jaschen.

For additional emergency preparedness information, visit, email, or call 340-773-2244 on St. Croix, 340-776-2244 on St. John, and 340-774-2244 on St. Thomas.