All 119 San Francisco sirens are going silent-- for now

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After next week, San Francisco residents won't hear a familiar sound for possibly two years. San Francisco's warning sirens are going to go silent.

If you're in San Francisco chances are you've heard it!

"It's kind of funny. I went to the University of San Francisco and it would go off every Tuesday. The kids from out of town wouldn't know what was going on freshman year," said San Francisco resident Elias Sadeh.

The SF Outdoor Warning System dates back to World War 2. The first siren was installed in 1942.

Fast forward to 2019 and it seems like everyone has an opinion about them.

"I think the siren is great but the man's voice saying 'this is a test' is completely unnecessary and I won't miss it at all," said San Francisco resident Stacey Morris.

The man behind the voice is retired radio host Dave Morey. We called Morey to speak about the news:

Luz Pena: "Your voice will no longer be heard across San Francisco on Tuesdays at noon. How do you feel about that?

Dave Morey: "Gee, its bittersweet. It was a great gig while it lasted!"

On Dec. 10, all 119 sirens are going offline for security and reliability upgrades. This decision was made by SF's Department of Emergency in partnership with SF's Department of Technology.

"Last time the system was upgraded was in 2005. Technology has changed since then. We want to make sure that the operating system, the hardware is not only reliable but secure," said Francis Zamora with the SF Department of Emergency.

This upgrade can take up to two years. Meanwhile, all the alerts will go digital.

"One of them is AlertSF San Francisco's text message system. It's really easy to sign up. All you need to do is text your zip code to 888-777 or you can go to AlertSF.org," said Zamora.

For now, the OPWS has one more day to sound off before the upgrade and the voice has a message for you San Francisco:

Dave Morey: "My message is it's only a test don't panic, carry on and we will meet again."
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.