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Severe Weather and Outdoor Warning Sirens

Municipalities in DuPage County, along with other communities throughout the United States utilize outdoor warning sirens to inform the public of severe, life threatening weather events, such as tornadoes. Outdoor warning sirens are just one part of a community’s overall warning and emergency notification plan.

Outdoor warning sirens are designed to alert people who are outdoors, within a fairly close proximity to the siren.  It is important to realize you might not hear the sirens if you are indoors. This is why it is extremely important that every family and every workplace have an all-hazards/NOAA weather radio, with a battery back-up. Additionally, there are smartphone applications that can be downloaded and text message notifications that you can sign up for.  The all-hazards/NOAA radio is one of the most reliable ways to receive fast, accurate information.

Outdoor warning sirens are activated when:

  • A confirmed sighting of a tornado, headed for a community, reported by a trained weather spotter.
  • National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for the community or entire county.
  • There are reports of significant storm damage, due to life-threatening winds.

Activations may occur for the entire DU-COMM service area, even though the severe weather path is localized to parts of the county. The public should monitor news, NOAA radio, or other resources to determine if they are in the path of the storm.

Monthly Outdoor Warning Siren Testing:

Outdoor warning sirens in DuPage County are tested on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. The only exception, is in the event of an active weather threat, the test may be suspended, to limit confusion.

When Sirens are Activated:

There is NO all-clear siren, and the emergency is NOT over when the siren activaton stops. The best way to know when the threat has passed is to monitor your all-hazards/NOAA weather radio.  You can also monitor local TV or visit www.weather.gov/chicago on your smart phone to find out the latest information regarding the location of the storm and to find out when the warning is over.  Keep in mind that multiple siren activations mean imminent life-threatening impact.  For example, sirens may sound multiple times if more than one tornado is spotted in the area, or the damaging wind threat continues.

It is not safe to leave your shelter until the warning expires.

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