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Outdoor Warning System
lightning storm
 
Where are sirens located?

The City of Winfield's outdoor warning system consists of 10 sirens strategically located throughout the city, as well as, 2 sirens located at the City Lake.

Why use outdoor warning sirens?

The outdoor warning sirens represent only one part of a broader public emergency notification system.  Other components might include: NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio, law enforcement, text notification networks, and the media.  Sirens are used to alert citizens who are outdoors of an imminent hazard and prompt them to go indoors, seek further information and ultimately seek shelter.

What should I do if I hear an outdoor warning siren?

Upon hearing outdoor warning sirens it is important that all persons immediately refer to local broadcast media (radio, TV, etc.) or NOAA Weather Radio for additional information!

When activated, the tone will sound for 3 minutes, re-sounding for the duration of the threat (every 10-15 minutes is recommended).  Repeated sounding of sirens has directly resulted in saved lives in numerous cases.  Doing repeated sirens allows for an increased chance the sirens will be heard and also lets people know the threat still exists.

National Weather Service warnings define the area threatened by the storm and include information about the history and/or potential impact of the specific storm.  In addition, trained spotters provide real-time reports of an imminent threat approaching or occurring in the community.  When a warning includes the specific hazards defined below or when trained spotters report any of these hazards, sirens will be activated for all jurisdictions in the threatened area.

 Tornadoes – Activation for: 
            -Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service or 
            -Tornado or funnel cloud reported by a trained spotter 
            -At the request of a law enforcement officer, fire officer or city official
 
 Severe Thunderstorms – Activation for: Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by the National Weather Service with a report from a trained spotter that includes: 
            -Wind 80 mph or greater 
            -Wind 65 mph or greater for the Winfield City Lake 
            -At the request of a law enforcement officer, fire officer or city official 

  Local Life-Threatening Events:
 
Non-weather emergencies (hazmat incident, terrorism, nuclear emergency, etc.) that pose a threat to those outdoors and require action to protect life will not be done via the outdoor warning sirens. 

 Additional Considerations:
Although other weather factors pose a risk, community-wide outdoor warning sirens will NOT be sounded for lightning or flash floods.  By its nature, lightning is “self-alerting” and citizens should go indoors when thunder is heard.  Also, because of the frequency of lightning, sounding sirens could desensitize the public to the sirens.  Although flash floods present a threat, that threat is localized and typically in a known area. In addition, Flash Flood Warnings are often issued more than one hour before the flooding occurs, allowing local officials time for mitigation efforts, and eliminating the usefulness of community-wide sirens in this situation.National Weather Service warnings define the area threatened by the storm and include information about the history and/or potential impact of the specific storm.  In addition, trained spotters provide real-time reports of an imminent threat approaching or occurring in the community.  When a warning includes the specific hazards defined below or when trained spotters report any of these hazards, sirens will be activated for all jurisdictions in the threatened area.

 All Clear
There will be no “all clear” signal from outdoor warning sirens.  Citizens are expected to be indoors and should monitor local media for additional information.

When are the outdoor warning sirens tested?
Outdoor warning sirens will be tested every Tuesday at 12:00pm beginning with Severe Awareness Week in March through the month of September. Testing will be the first Tuesday of the month during October and November. This test may be postponed or canceled based on the current or forecast weather for the day.