What the…?

This morning at 0520, the town’s main siren – the same one that they blare every noon to tell you that yes, it is the middle of the day – sounded six klaxons. This was answered, before the din had even died down, by the sound of sirens on the streets: lots of them. (We’re near a fire station, so that may have been the source of that; from the number of sirens I’m guessing that every single vehicle in the station was dispatched at once)

There was neither high wind nor rain. No fire was on the horizon. We smelled no unusual smells, no smoke or bitter almonds, felt no unusual tastes in our mouths, no sudden concussion nor the whine of aircraft overhead.

In short, I have no fscking idea what that was all about, but I’ll note: There is something very creepy about finding yourself in a foreign city when all the alarms go off, and realizing that you have no way whatsoever of finding out what’s going on or what you should be doing in response.

So open questions to all: What would you guess the sirens were for? Natural disaster, accident, invasion from Mordor? And what would you do in a foreign city if sirens were to go off in the middle of the night?

Published in: on December 26, 2002 at 12:11  Comments (6)  


  1. My first thought when they went off:
    $%&#! It’s 0520!
    Second thought:
    He’s gonna freak out, better do something (*roll over and tell him to be calm*)
    Third thought:
    What if something bad actually is happening?
    Fourth thought:
    If this was another American Sailor being stupid, I’ll wring his/her neck.
    I asked about it at work, and no one had any idea. But I did smell a little smoke biking in to base, and saw them washing an ambulance off in front of the Fire Station. Hmm . . .
    Maybe it was just the warning that the holidays were over and they were no longer going to play happy holiday tunes at the Arcade.

  2. I’d probably make up some story to myself about how it was an obscure local tradition dating back hundreds of years, then start asking if anybody could tell poor foreigner me what the smeg that uproar was all about. (=

  3. I think I’d do exactly what the people around me were doing. Unless maybe it involved suiting up and arming themselves, or some such, in which case I’d probably hide. And not ask too many questions later, assuming there were the opportunity to do so.

  4. But what do you do when you’re in bed, and the person with you doesn’t know what’s happening any more than you do?

  5. Attempt to collect data for a larger value of “around,” maybe. Or look for earplugs. 🙂

  6. Often when dispatched to a incident, the sirens will sound at the firestation. Particularly if its a volunteer fire dept. Part of getting everyone’s attention that a bunch of rather largish vehicles are going to be pulling out and hauling ass to somewhere, so better get out of the way.

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