Sheriff's Department

LEPC - Community Warning - The Siren

What do sirens mean when you hear them?

Seek shelter indoors and tune your radio or television to a local station for official announcements.
Outdoor warning sirens are used to advise citizens of possible dangers to the community. Some of these events include tornado warnings or high wind warnings issued by the National Weather Service or chemical emergencies. For incidents of long duration, sirens will be periodically activated. There is no siren to indicate the end of an event.”

When Are Sirens Tested?

Local sirens are tested on the first Friday of each month from April through October at Noon.

Where Can I Take Shelter?

The safest place to take shelter during high winds or a tornado is underground in a basement under something sturdy. If there is no basement, take cover in the center of the house or building on the lowest floor in a small room (such as a bathroom or closet). The more walls between you and the outside the safer you may be.

Residents in a mobile home should seek shelter elsewhere at the first sign of severe weather. Contact the Park Manager prior to an emergency for information on available substantial shelters.

If you are in a vehicle when a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter in a safe structure, ditch or ravine away from the vehicle. Do not seek shelter under a highway overpass.

If you are out of doors away from any sturdy building, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and hold onto something on the ground if possible.

Create Family Emergency Plan

Discuss the types of disasters and explain what to do in each case.

  1. Pick two places to meet:
    • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
    • Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number of this location.
  2. Post emergency numbers by the phones (fire, ambulance, police, etc.)
  3. Teach children how and when to call 911.

Create a Safety Kit

Flashlight
Food, snacks
Extra Batteries
Extra clothing
Bottled water
Canned food
Towels
Cell phone
Heavy plastic
Duct tape
First aid kit
Can opener
Battery operated radio

Additional Disaster Information

NOAA weather alert radios with Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) are an inexpensive way to provide indoor warning for you and your family. The radio is programmed to provide citizens with information on severe weather events or chemical emergencies in their community. The NOAA weather alert radio uses an alert tone followed by official information about the hazardous event. These radios can be purchased locally for about $60 each. For further information see the NOAA web page.

For further information contact
Kent County Office of Emergency Management
616-632-6255

Contact Us

LEPC

701 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

(616) 632-6255

Jack Stewart

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