SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.–The siren system that alerts neighboring communities in the event of an emergency at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will undergo annual testing next week, Southern California Edison announced today.

On Oct. 19 between 10 a.m. and noon, 50 sirens located in the communities around the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station–including Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Camp Pendleton–will be activated several times for about three minutes each time.

The sirens sound a continuous steady tone distinguishing them from those used by fire and police departments, according to SCE.

“Protecting the health and safety of workers and the public is our highest responsibility,” said SCE senior vice president and chief nuclear officer Pete Dietrich.

“In a real emergency, the siren system would alert residents to turn on their radio or TV for emergency response information from their community leaders,” he said. “Other sources of emergency information include city websites and our community website,”

The sirens also could be used by local government officials to inform residents of a non-nuclear emergency.

Fliers and other educational materials explaining the test have been distributed to residents, businesses and schools in the area. Before and during the siren test, broadcasts on Orange County’s primary Emergency Alert System radio station, KWVE 107.9, will inform the public of the test.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station generates about 2,200 megawatts of electricity, enough power to serve 1.4 million average homes at a point in time. The plant is jointly owned by SCE (78.21 percent), San Diego Gas & Electric (20 percent) and the city of Riverside (1.79 percent).