Pierce County's Lahar Warning System needs upgrades

More than a dozen sirens in the Pierce County Lahar warning system need an upgrade.

The first Monday of every month, the Mount Rainier Lahar Sirens go off from Orting to Port of Tacoma in Pierce County.

With September being preparedness month, Pierce County Emergency Management Officials said Labor Day is great reminder for families to listen up and plan.

"The first Monday of every month is a great chance to look at your kit to make sure everything is up to date, to make sure that your plan is in place if you're in the river valley or if you’re not,” said Sarah Foster with Pierce County Emergency Management.

Right now there are about 20 sirens in the county, and more than a dozen need to be upgraded or replaced.

"The sirens were put in in the 90s. It's like they're an old flip phone,” Foster said. “We're giving it some new technology to make sure they can last into the future. They’re working just fine, but we want to make sure they have everything they need to be as functional as possible."

Officials said Mount Rainer will likely erupt again, and folks need to get to higher ground when they hear the sirens go off.

"As the debris is released form the mountain, it goes down the river valley and it can be very devastating,” Foster said. “So we want to make sure people have as much time as possible to get out of those river valleys."

With people off of work on Labor Day, county leaders hoped more would hear the siren and sit down with their families to discuss a plan.

 Find out more information about Mount Rainier’s volcanic risk from U.S. Geological Survey and Pierce County.

Copyright 2016 KING


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