Tornado Sirens: The Sound Before The Storm


They don’t sound very often, but when they do, tornado sirens are the forewarning of a serious weather event.

”The sirens are activated when a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service for areas or counties, including the city of Sioux Falls,” said Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Emergency Manager Regan Smith.

Smith says there are 75 sirens in the city of Sioux Falls, and while they are loud, they can be difficult to hear.

”The sirens may be difficult to hear in homes, especially in summer months, especially when people have their air conditioners running or during weather events when there’s high wind, rain, thunder, those type of things.”

It’s for that reason people are urged to seek out multiple ways to receive warning, and not solely rely on a siren to alert them of a weather threat.

“What we’re really asking the public to do is everybody should have a programmable NOAA weather radio in their homes. There’s also some smartphone applications that are available from FEMA, the American Red Cross.”

Severe weather can hit on any day, at any time, and the most important thing people can do is plan ahead.

”We’re going to do our best to warn the community but ultimately people are going to have to take responsibility and take action.”