Emergency Preparedness Week continues, and so do the outdoor emergency siren tests in the region. Both the Morden and Winkler outdoor emergency sirens will be activated today at noon (12 p.m. May 10th) for four minutes. The City of Morden will also be testing its CodeRED system at this time.

The outdoor sirens in both cities are designed to alert citizens outdoors of danger, for example tornadoes, chemical spills or large scale fires, so they can seek shelter indoors or shelter in place.

"The siren is for people who are outside to warn them to seek shelter, or shelter in place, depending on the situation," explained Kathy Bueckert from Southern Emergency Response Committee, also known as SERC. "A lot of people will let us know, 'I was in my house, in the basement, and I could not hear it.' But that really is not the intent."

In a real emergency, Bueckert stressed the importance of seeking shelter immediately, and resisting the urge to go outside to see what's happening.

"So we ask people, if you hear the siren, aside from any time other than noon, find shelter," she noted. "Please don't go to your driveways and look up at the sky. Find shelter and listen to your local broadcasting stations."

Bueckert added now is also a good time for families to think about what to do, in an emergency, if members are separated at the time of the event.

"If you have children at school and were evacuated to another area, or if something happens in a particular part of the community where your family home is, and you've been taken to another area, but your children are at school, just how to connect with each other, and how to find each other again," said Bueckert. "A great option for that would be to have an out of town contact, where you can reach out to this person who may know where the other people are, and just help bring you together."

Again, Wednesday's siren activation in Winkler and Morden is only a test, but in the case of a real emergency you should tune to CFAM Radio 950, Country88 or Eagle 93.5 FM for the latest information from officials.

Also happening today will be a province wide test of the Alert Ready system at 1:55pm, with messages being broadcast on the aforementioned radio stations, as well as being sent via text message and television.

- With files from Robyn Wiebe and Ronny Guenther -