For decades tornado sirens have alerted people of approaching severe weather. But, those sirens are only able to reach a limited amount of people.
“Our policy here in Outagamie County is to sound the sirens when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning. Why we choose to do that at a tornado warning level is because we leave it to the professionals, which would be the meteorologists, to watch the radar and what they see as a tornado or funnel cloud in what exact area and then that’s when we sound the sirens.” -Lisa Van Schyndel Outagamie County Emergency Management Director
There are areas where the tornado sirens will be used for severe thunderstorms as well, but Outagamie County believes it’s best to only sound them when a tornado warning is issued.
“You don’t want to sound the sirens too much so if you sound them at every severe thunderstorm warning people would hear them and decide it’s just a severe thunderstorm warning again and no need to worry so you don’t want to over sound them.”
And in a time where technology is all around us emergency management urges residents to have multiple ways to get weather alerts.
“What happens is people think like you just I didn’t hear a siren. So you need to have multiple tools in your toolbox to aid you in any situation. So if you’re home at night or during the day that NOAA weather radio is going to sound during a severe thunderstorm warning and for a tornado warning. That will wake you up in the middle of the night.”
You can also get the latest warnings anywhere you go and for any season by downloading the Storm Team 5 weather app.