NEWS RELEASE: What’s That Sound? Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency to Test Four New or Updated Sirens on Big Island this Friday

Posted on May 11, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) will be testing new or upgraded warning sirens on Friday at four locations on Hawai‘i island. The tests will sound various alert tones which will be audible in the surrounding area, but there is no hazard and members of the public need not take any action.

There are more than 400 sirens in Hawaii’s All-Hazard Statewide Outdoor Warning System, which is used to alert members of the public to take immediate action to protect themselves from a hazard such as a tsunami or hurricane. The equipment being tested may include new siren locations, relocations of existing sirens, or upgraded equipment.

“We try to limit our siren tests to the first business day of each month to reduce disruption, but it’s vital to run certain checks when we install new equipment,” said HI-EMA Administrator James DS. Barros. “These tests help ensure that the new gear is integrated with the statewide network and can alert the local communities if there’s an imminent hazard.”

The new equipment is part of the state’s ongoing Outdoor Warning Siren Modernization Program. Sirens are being upgraded and new sirens installed at locations statewide under this program.

Equipment tests are scheduled for Friday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. HST. The tests will be in Hilo and nearby communities, in cooperation with the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency.

The specific locations of the sirens to be tested are:

  • Kaʻūmana Elementary School, Hilo
  • Kulaʻimano Community Center, Pepeʻekeo
  • Gilbert Carvalho Park, Hilo
  • Hualani Park, Hilo

Testing at each site usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. People within a mile of the site being tested will hear short bursts of various siren tones (steady tone, high-low, tamper warning, etc.). No action is required if you hear a warning siren test.

State and local government officials have been informed that these tests are scheduled, and social media messages will include reminders on the day of the testing.

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Adam Weintraub
Communication Director

[email protected]

Apologies for the short notice. Thank you for your help in getting the word out.


Jill Matsumoto

Information Specialist

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency

4204 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI     96816

[email protected]

Office: 808-733-4300 Ext. 545