Outdoor Warning System
The Outdoor Warning System is meant to warn residents who are outside only. You may not be able to hear it inside or in noisy areas.
To receive emergency notifications indoors, the Office of Emergency Management recommends the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) All Hazards and Weather Alert Radio with the Specific Area Message Encoding feature.
The NOAA radio allows you to keep up-to-date on all types of emergencies 24 hours a day. You can buy one at many local retailers starting at $20.
Outdoor Warning System Activation
When activated, the Outdoor Warning sirens will rotate 360 degrees while sounding a steady tone for three minutes. It may be continuously sounded until the danger has passed. There is no all-clear message.
When you hear the Outdoor Warning System sound, you should immediately go inside and tune into the local news on radio or television for additional information.
The Outdoor Warning System is activated in the following situations:
- A tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service.
- Tornado or funnel cloud reported by a reliable source.
- Sustained winds in excess of 70 mph.
- Reports of hail larger than 1.5 inches in diameter.
Watches vs Warnings
The National Weather Service will issue alerts based on the weather moving through the area. Sound judgment can be made regarding appropriate actions to take.
A watch means: conditions are favorable for the severe weather event in or near the watch area.
A warning means: severe weather event is imminent or occurring in the warned area.