Emergency Warnings-Stay Informed
There are several ways residents and visitors can be notified about an emergency and receive the latest information about an ongoing incident.
Outdoor Warning System
The City has 53 Outdoor Warning Sirens. These sirens are used to warn people who are outside during an event. This system is activated when:
1. There is a verified report of a tornado within the City limits or a verified report of a tornado that will be entering the City limits.
2. There is a verified report of sustained winds at or in excess of 58 mph. The term “sustained” is defined as three minutes long.
Testing and Use
The Outdoor Warning System is tested with an audible signal and silently on the first Monday of each month to ensure that they are working properly. If the weather appears threatening, this monthly test will be canceled.
The sirens can also be used as a public address system to provide a verbal message such as the status of an event or an all clear. This feature is only utilized on an incident by incident basis.
When the sirens are used, residents and visitors are advised to take shelter immediately and tune into the local TV or radio station for additional information.
Emergency Alert System (EAS)
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers and, effective in May 2007, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a National emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as weather information targeted to a specific area.
NOAA Weather Radio (NWR)
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the National Weather Service. NWR broadcasts weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. NWR also broadcasts warning and post event information for non-weather events such as a chemical spill or earthquake.
Some NWR's are capable of receiving programming for only the county or counties you choose. Look for a radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) technology if you desire this feature.
Monitor Local TV and Radio Weather Reporting
Residents and visitors should monitor weather forecasts so they know when severe weather is expected and how to plan accordingly. Weather forecasts for tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, flooding, snow, ice and high winds require preparation and knowledge.
•Make sure to have an updated Evacuation Plan
•Establish an Emergency Meeting Place for the family
•Know how to Shelter in Place
•Prepare a Disaster Kit
In an emergency, public safety officials work closely with the local TV and Radio stations to provide timely and accurate information to the public. Often, some of the best information you can receive from the City about an event will be through one of these means.