Washington State emergency officials are reviewing their security measures after the Tornado warning system in Dallas was hacked, and its sirens activated for over an hour last week. Chuck Wallace, Deputy Director of the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency asks, could the same situation occur with our AHAB siren system in Washington State?

The possibility does exist. Not only does the issue raise concern about our alert system, but about our confidence in those alerts. Wallace said “the Dallas hacking incident will raise doubt and speculation in emergency public alerting systems – events such as this always do. Some will lose faith in public alerting systems which could lead to terrible consequences during a true event.”

Wallace reminds coastal Washington residents to move to higher ground immediately if you hear an AHAB Siren activate. Protection of yourself and others should be your primary concern. If the incident proves to be a false alarm you’ve only lost time if it proves otherwise you may have saved lives.

NEVER HESITATE to move to higher ground if an AHAB Siren Activates with full sirens.

Also remember that the AHAB sirens are only for outdoor notification. All Hazard Weather Radios are included in the alert system, and would require a more involved hack. Local radio and television stations will also be included in the alerts, and will be verifying their sources as the information becomes available.

Wallace says the best way to be prepared is to be educated, LEARN the risks that you face where you are, PREPARE for disaster possibilities, and KNOW where to go to confirm disaster reporting in your area.