Tornado Safety

Severe Weather Warning System

Each month, April through October, the City will test outdoor sirens at 11 a.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. The City will not sound the sirens on these days if the weather conditions do not allow.

For alerts indoors, every home and business should have a NOAA All-Weather Radio. This type of radio is like a smoke detector for severe weather, and it can wake you up when a warning is issued for your area so you can take appropriate action.

DID YOU KNOW sirens are an outdoor warning system, designed only to alert those who are outside, that something dangerous is approaching?

Tornado Safety

Everyone should have a basic knowledge of severe weather safety rules and have a severe weather plan in place.

  • In Homes and Most Structures: A basement or other underground location is by far the best shelter from a tornado. If a basement is not available, move to a small, interior room, or other interior location such as a hallway. Stay away from outside walls, doors and windows. Keep as many walls as you can between you and the wind outside.
  • In schools, hospitals, factories, shopping centers and other public places, move to designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest level are best. Stay away from windows and out of auditoriums, gymnasiums or structures with large free-span roofs.
  • In Vehicles: Do not try to outrun a tornado. A tornado does not have to slow down for traffic, stop signs or curves in the road. You must quickly assess your situation. If you have a clear path, and you can drive in a direction away from the tornado, then do so. If necessary, seek shelter in a nearby, substantial building.

    As a last resort, if you have no alternative, abandon your vehicle and hide in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head. Most deaths occur because of head injuries caused by flying debris. There have been conflicting opinions concerning highway underpasses and tornadoes.

    While an underpass can offer protection from rain and hail, it may not protect you from a strong tornado. The wind from the tornado will actually accelerate as it blows through the underpass likely sweeping everything away. The best thing to do if severe weather threatens is to not drive. Stay in a safe building until the storms pass.