Redstone Report: Sign provides safety alerts

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - There are marquees all over Redstone Arsenal, but there's only one that provides employees with an up to the minute report on safety conditions. The sign is right near Test Area 10 and it's hard to miss.

Anthony Jones is a support specialist on the Arsenal. He describes the old way of doing things, "We used to have these old type bulletin boards that you had to come into the building in order to retrieve information."

The new board is all electronic and provides up to the minute information about factors affecting business inside the gates. Jones says they're able to put the information out there immediately, which is an important feature because Area 10 testing can get dangerous.

If a building is "hot," that means it's in lockdown status and no on can go in. Jones explains how the sign alerts people, "When they drive by and see red flashing, when they see a red sign, they know that facility is hot." A "prep" status advises people to use caution around a building.

To update a building's status, it just takes a phone call from the test site and a computer entry from the control room. Status updates are so important because it alerts people who might not be aware of testing in a building, like groundskeepers or cleaning crews.

The sign also flashes weather updates from NOAA. High winds, lightening, or tornado warnings can prompt a building to quickly switch from a "hot" to "cold." A prime example of this was the day we went out to Redstone. The control room got an alert that there was lightening within a 12 mile radius. Within minutes, several buildings made the call to hold off on testing until the threat passed. With all of its features, it's more than just a sign, it's a symbol of safety.

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