City completes upgrade of outdoor warning sirens
The City of Minneapolis has completed the replacement of its system of outdoor warning sirens, which will modernize the system and provide better coverage to outdoor areas around the city. The new system now includes 42 sirens spaced out around the city, replacing the 30 sirens that covered the city outside downtown.
Minneapolis residents will hear these sirens twice tomorrow during statewide tornado drills that will be conducted as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. The first drill is statewide at 1:45 p.m. to allow homeowners, schools, retail businesses, hospitals and other organizations to practice their emergency plans. The City of Minneapolis will be activating its tornado sirens at 1:45 p.m. and again at 6:55 p.m. to allow families and second-shift workers to practice their severe weather response. Please take a few minutes that evening to talk with the members of your household about where you’ll take shelter.
Time for upgrade
The City’s old sirens were installed between 1950 and 1965 so an upgrade was necessary. The old sirens were electromechanical while the new sirens are electronic. The new sirens also have a battery backup, so they can sound even if the area they’re in loses power.
What to do when you hear the sirens
For severe weather warnings, outdoor warning siren activation in Hennepin County is based on the following criteria:
Tornado Warning, and/or
Sustained straight line winds in excess of 70 mph
Outdoor warning sirens are meant to be heard outside. The system is not designed to provide notification inside your home or business. When sirens sound, residents should always seek shelter and tune to local weather information on radio, television, or NOAA Weather Radio for more information.
The threat of severe weather does not stop when the sirens stop. Residents should continue to shelter and stay tuned to local weather information on radio, television or NOAA Weather Radios for the duration of the warning period.
If the siren sounds while you are in your vehicle, seek shelter immediately. The safest place to be is in a sturdy building, on the lowest level away from windows. If there is not a building nearby and the tornado is approaching quickly get as far away from the road and cars as possible and lay in a low area covering your head with your arms. Do not go under an overpass, the bridge may collapse and/or create a wind tunnel with debris.
Published Apr 23, 2014