Purpose and Function

St. Joseph County has installed outdoor warning siren systems to provide an additional warning of impending danger from threatening weather.  As their name implies, our sirens are per-incident warning devices which are manufactured and installed so that they can be heard when people are outdoor at their homes or other buildings.  Although the outdoor warning sirens are often heard inside of buildings, they are not designed or installed specifically to be heard inside of buildings within their geographic coverage area.

During severe weather season, you can be prepared for severe weather by simply listening to the forecast before you leave home.  It is recommended that every home, school and business be equipped with a NOAA All-Hazard Weather Radio. When severe weather watch and warning information is not being broadcast on the NOAA Weather Radio, detailed forecast information will be provided. You can also obtain local weather forecast information from commercial radio and television stations. Detailed forecasts can also be found on the internet from a number of sites such as The National Weather Service.

Outdoor warning sirens are placed throughout St. Joseph County in populated areas to warn people who are outside.  Sirens are an important warning device that have a theoretical sounding radius of approximately one mile. If you cannot hear the warning siren on testing days please be sure to report it (Report a Warning Siren Malfunction).

  1. Turn on local media and monitor your weather radio (Get the Weather Radio APP on your phone).
  2. If tornado is imminent, crawl under a table, mattress or other item that may offer additional protection.
  3. If at home, follow your prepared emergency plan and keep your emergency kit stocked and within reach. See www.ready.gov for instructions for assembling an emergency kit.
  4. If at work or school, follow the established procedure and be attentive to changes in forecast information.

If you are outside when the sirens sound, seek shelter immediately and turn on your TV or radio to a local broadcast and/or listen to your  All-Hazard Weather Radio to be informed of the emergency. Seek safe shelter inside a building, preferably in the basement or lowest level and away from glass, poorly anchored items or insufficiently supported objects. DO NOT CALL 911 TO INQUIRE ABOUT THE SIRENS