Who controls the tornado sirens?

The sirens around Dane County are not just for warning about tornadoes.

Although tornado warnings are by far the most common cause for the sounding  of the alarm, the sirens are used for other hazards.

For example, they may be sounded for a major chemical release due to some  accident.

The siren system is designed to alert people of health hazards or life-threatening  situations.

In Dane County, the 911 Center is the primary activation point of the county  sirens, with the County Emergency Management office serving as backup.

There are more than 130 sirens distributed throughout the county. Monthly  testing of the sirens occurs at noon on the first Wednesday of the month.

A tornado warning can only be issued by the  National Weather Service, and it is that warning that makes it to the 911  Center.

Local utilities supply the needed electrical power to the sirens, and in the  event of severe weather, a power failure or a lightning strike may shut down the  sirens. So a backup for a weather hazards notification is probably a good  idea.

That can be a NOAA Weather Radio which has National Weather Service  broadcasts of severe weather watches and warnings. Local radio and television  are also good resources.

Smartphone apps are also becoming more popular. The Federal Communications  Commission (FCC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and wireless  industry carriers have collaborated to produce the Wireless Emergency Alert  system. Through this national emergency alert system emergency managers can send  text-based messages to wireless devices.

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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