OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Central Oklahoma Emergency Management Association (COEMA) released new guidelines Wednesday for the use of outdoor warning systems, but cities still have the option of using the sirens when they believe it's necessary to warn citizens about a potential threat.
Emergency management leaders from 11 jurisdictions helped draft the new guidelines for warning sirens. Leaders said they should provide a consistent and clear message for people in the metro.
"It's critical that we communicate clearly during times of crisis," said Task Force Chair Frank Barnes. "These guidelines let people know what they should do when they hear a siren - regardless of where they live in central Oklahoma."
The new guidelines encouraged people to take shelter immediately when they hear a siren, and seek more information. Emergency management leaders also wanted to make it clear that when the sirens stop, it does not indicate the threat has passed.
Other guidelines include:
Cities and counties participating in the warning system guidelines include Bethel Acres, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tecumseh, Yukon, Canadian County and Oklahoma County.