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Additional Outdoor Warning Systems Installed Across District
Updated February 15, 2022
Additional Perry Weather Outdoor Warning Systems were installed and became operational at Cross Timbers, Eagle Heights, Liberty, and Silver Creek Elementary Schools during the first week of January 2022.
This extension of our Outdoor Warning System provides for coverage across the district to help ensure the safety of students on campus and during outdoor activities.
Using available funds from a safety security grant, the district recently purchased three Perry Weather Outdoor Warning Systems (OWS) to help ensure student safety on campus and during outdoor activities.
Many times, lightning occurs long before a storm blows in (and long before you can hear thunder). Perry Weather’s fully comprehensive and cloud-based solution delivers real-time weather and lightning alerts. The OWS is constantly operational and provides round-the-clock safety and lightning warning alerts with zero false alarms or maintenance required.
The new OWS were installed on light poles at the Azle High School, Azle Junior High, and Forte Junior High football fields on June 1, 2021.
The OWS will activate when lightning is detected within 10 miles of the system and sound an alert (10 seconds at 140 decibels) notifying everyone outside to go indoors immediately. After 30 minutes of no lightning strikes, the system will sound an “all clear” (three short tones) and everyone can resume outdoor activities. These perimeters are also current UIL protocols for outdoor sports.
The Azle High School OWS also contains our very own weather station, which allows for real-time weather monitoring via cell phone or laptop. The weather station is completely wireless and automatically links up with any Perry Weather wireless weather stations in the United States. This allows live real-time weather radar, which is used to monitor all types of storms or other dangerous weather. The system can be utilized and operated anywhere there is Wi-Fi or cell service.
The Perry Pocket App was already being utilized by the Azle ISD Athletic Department and other outdoor curriculums (coaches band directors, etc.) for lightning detection within 10 miles. The purchase of the OWS and weather station greatly enhance the app and accuracy of weather information.
“The safety and security of our students and staff is our highest priority and this is another safety measure in order to greatly diminish injuries due to lightning or other dangerous weather,” said Azle ISD Police Chief Darren Brockway. “The Outdoor Weather System also allows information to be broadcast during any other type of emergency.”
The systems can also be set to activate when other dangerous weather (tornado, hail, damaging winds) is approaching in the immediate area. However, it should be noted that the systems, just as the Outdoor Warning Systems within the city, are only to alert people who are outdoors.
In addition, the OWS can be used as a public address system to broadcast information needed during an emergency, which would be critical should an evacuation or other important instructions need to be broadcast. For example, should a “Lockdown” be initiated at a particular campus, the OWS allows for key personnel to activate the tones, as well as broadcast important information to anyone outside the building. These systems are powered by solar panels and are maintenance-free. If one of the systems goes off-line for some reason, it will immediately alert Chief Brockway and other key administrators.
The district would like to install the same systems at Liberty, Eagle Heights, and Silver Creek Elementary Schools in the future.