Don’t rely on outdoor sirens to alert you of severe weather overnight, officials say

tornado siren

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. — With a round of strong to severe storms expected in the late-night and early-morning hours, emergency officials in Sauk County are pleading with people: do not depend on hearing an outdoor siren to keep you safe.

“I had someone say to me, and I cringed, they said, ‘The tornado siren is going to wake me up,'” Sauk County emergency manager Jeff Jelinek said. “No. Those are designed for outdoor warning only. A tornado siren is not designed to wake you up when you’re sleeping in your bed, so you’ve got to have some sort of mechanism — whether it’s a weather radio, an app on your phone, some sort of system in place.”

Jelinek says that’s especially true for overnight storms.

“I can’t stress that enough, with the timing of this coming through, that’s so important.”

One of the apps you can use to stay up-to-date on the weather alerts for your specific area is the News 3 Now First Warn Weather app, which is free in the Apple and Android app stores.