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Outdoor Sirens
Outdoor Warning System
The City of Allen’s outdoor warning siren system consists of 13 sirens placed strategically throughout the city as a warning device to alert citizens outdoors of imminent severe weather.

While the warning siren system is an effective method of outdoor notification, the City of Allen highly recommends each home and business have other means to receive warnings and notifications. Warning and notification can be received by monitoring the following:
  • Internet
  • Local media outlets (television & radio)
  • NOAA National Weather Service Radio
  • Sky conditions

Developed as an early warning system of severe weather to persons outdoors, the system should not be relied upon for early warning to individuals indoors. Air-conditioning, thunder, wind, rain and other conditions can cause the sirens not to be heard indoors. Sirens are also subject to equipment malfunction as well as failure due to damage from lightning strikes. If you are outdoors and hear a siren, you should seek shelter immediately as the threat may be in your immediate area.

Individuals, families and businesses are strongly encouraged to use NOAA weather radios to receive warnings and emergency information.

City of Allen Outdoor Warning Siren Policy
Activation
The outdoor warning sirens for the city are activated when a local determination is made that a tornado or other threat to the area exists. This determination is made by Allen Emergency Management and will be based on the evaluation of all available information. This may include, but is not limited to, National Weather Service watch and / or warning text, weather radar and reports from trained weather-spotters or public safety officers.

The City of Allen has the capability of activating all of the sirens at once or more selectively by activating one or more of the 14 sirens. All sirens are sounded unless the threat is clearly confined to an individual zone(s). The sirens will be sounded for three minutes initially, and then intermittently throughout the warning period as needed.

Warning Signals
The warning signals for the outdoor warning sirens are as follows.

Weather Alert Signal
The sirens will sound a wail tone for three (3) minutes. This indicates any of the following :
  • Hail 1 inch or greater in size
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning from the National Weather Service with winds forecast more than 70 mph
  • Tornado Warning from the National Weather Service naming Allen in the path

Attention Signal

The sirens will sound pulsed-steady tones followed by an announcement providing information regarding the type of alert or warning.

General Alert Signal
The sirens will sound a steady tone for three (3) minutes. This indicates a hazardous materials incident or other emergency that could affect public health, safety or property.

Public Address System
The sirens can be used to make public address announcements with or without any combination of sounds or tones. An attention tone may be issued to draw attention to the warning system before a public address announcement is made.

Testing
The system is capable of complete diagnostic testing without disturbing the public. The system computer checks the siren speakers, amplifiers and other components constantly and reports any malfunctions to the system manager.

What to Do
If the outdoor warning sirens are sounded, seek shelter and tune in to local radio, television or your NOAA weather radio for instructions and information.

It is important to remember that any thunderstorm can produce a tornado with little or no warning. When a tornado warning is issued or you hear the outdoor warning sirens, take the following immediate safety precautions.

In Homes or Small Buildings
Go to a pre-designated safe area or to an interior room on the lowest level, such as a closet or bathroom away from windows, doors and outside walls. Upper floors are unsafe. If there is no time to descend, go to a closet, a small room with strong walls or an inside hallway. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy protection (heavy table or work bench), cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), and use your arms to cover your head and neck to protect against flying debris.

In Schools, Hospitals, Factories or Shopping Centers
Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest level. Stay away from glass enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head and neck. Centrally located stairwells are good shelter.

In Cars or Mobile Homes
Abandon them immediately! Most deaths occur in cars and mobile homes. If you are in either of those locations, leave them and go to a substantial structure or shelter.

If No Suitable Structure is Nearby
Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head. Be alert for flash floods!

Listen to a battery-powered NOAA All Hazard Radios or local radio or television station for updated information and to determine when conditions are safe.

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