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Siren system provides warnings when you’re outdoors

Posted Sept. 3, 2019

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an outdoor siren
The outdoor warning system may be activated for any kind of emergency, not just severe weather.

“Why are those sirens going off?”

If you’re outside at 1 p.m. on a sunny Wednesday, you will probably hear them. The outdoor warning system test is a weekly routine that the city’s Office of Emergency Management takes very seriously.

These sirens provide a high level of safety, helping to alert Fort Worth residents who find themselves outside.

The city has 148 outdoor warning sirens that can be activated during severe weather or a man-made disaster. Some residents think of these sirens as “tornado” sirens, and while that is one of the situations in which the sirens will be activated, there are several other events during which the Office of Emergency Management will trigger the alerts:

  • A tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service.
  • A funnel cloud reported by a trained observer.
  • Winds of 70 mph or higher.
  • Hail of 1½ inch in diameter or larger.
  • A man-made disaster such as a chemical spill.
  • A state or national disaster as declared by the governor or president.
  • At the discretion of the Office of Emergency Management, to alert people at large outdoor gatherings such as Texas Motor Speedway, Main Street Art Festival or Mayfest.

Remember, the sirens are designed to provide a warning to residents who are outside. They are not designed to be heard inside your homes or businesses. Residents should purchase a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio for their residence and business locations to provide timely warnings from the National Weather Service during severe weather conditions.

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