The City of Carrollton’s siren system is an important tool to alert citizens to potential threats against life and property. There are twenty-six sirens strategically placed throughout Carrollton to ensure maximum coverage.
The siren system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 1:00 PM, weather permitting. If the skies are threatening or if there are storms in the area the test will be cancelled and not re-scheduled until the next month.
Situations For Which the Sirens May be Activated
The sirens are an “all-hazard” warning system, which means they can be activated to warn citizens of a variety of threats in addition to severe weather. This could be anything from a hazardous chemical release to a flash flood. During severe storms the sirens can be activated in the absence of a tornado if hail two inches or larger is anticipated to pose a danger to life and/or property. Damaging winds in excess of 75 mph can also trigger siren activation. Any threat that poses a danger to the city as a whole or a large section can be cause for activating the sirens as well.
What do the Sirens Sound Like?
When the sirens are activated either for testing or during a real situation, you will hear a single tone for all events that lasts approximately three minutes per activation. The sirens rotate 360 degrees while activated, so from a given point the sirens will tend to rise and fall as they rotate.
What to Do When You Hear the Sirens
The sole purpose of the siren system is to let citizens know they need to take shelter indoors and seek further information on what they should do from radio, television or other sources such as the City's social media feeds. Since the sound waves from the sirens don’t penetrate buildings and other obstacles very well, the system is designed as an out-door warning system only. When you hear the sirens, remember, go indoors and get more information on what to do next. There is no all-clear signal; if you hear the sirens activate again, treat it as a real emergency and continue to take sheltering actions. When you hear the sirens please do not call 911 to ask why the sirens are sounding unless you have a true emergency. Consult news sources and the City’s emergency management twitter feed @CarrolltonEM for more information.
Did you Know?
The City of Carrollton has implemented nine lightning detection units at outdoor recreation facilities to alert citizens and visitors of dangerous weather in the area. The Perry Weather Outdoor Warning System was installed in 2018 at McInnish Sports Complex, Josey Ranch Sports Complex, Rosemeade Rainforest, W.J. Thomas Splash Park, Oak Hills Splash Park, and Oak Creek Tennis Center. The units are equipped with both siren and strobe notifications, as well as personalized voice recordings to provide a customized message when lightning is detected. The system will give one 15-second notification blast when lightning strikes within 10 miles of the recreation facility. Upon hearing the blast, individuals should immediately stop current activities and seek appropriate shelter. After the initial blast, a yellow strobe light on top of the system will flash until safe conditions return. After the area is clear for 30 minutes from the last strike, the system will provide an “all clear” by giving three 5-second blasts. Regular activities may resume at that time. For more information, click here.
During Severe Weather
If you hear the sirens activated on a day storms have been forecasted or you know severe weather is in the region, immediately seek shelter inside the nearest sturdy structure. Go to the first floor (or basement if one is available) and take cover inside the centermost room that provides the maximum protection. Cover yourself with pillows or blankets to protect against flying debris. Do not stay outside to try and see a tornado; in Texas with all of the gulf moisture thunderstorms produce a lot of rain and often times tornados can be wrapped in rain and almost invisible. If you live in a mobile home, relocate to a fixed structure if possible. Residents of mobile home parks should have a shelter identified on site or a plan to move to a safe location nearby. DO NOT try to get into your car and outrun the storm. If no shelter is nearby, go outside and lie in a ditch or depression and protect your head with your hands. Other safety precautions for severe weather season include having a weather radio set up by your bed to alert to threats during the night. Having a radio in you sheltering location is also recommended in order for you to know when it is safe to discontinue sheltering.
Non-Severe Weather Events
When you hear the sirens and there is no severe weather threat, immediately go indoors tune to local news or radio to learn what actions you need to take. You may also consult the City’s emergency management twitter feed @CarrolltonEM for more information on why the sirens are sounding and what you need to do. Follow all directions given by authorities during an emergency situation.
KnoWhat2Do American Sign Language Videos
Communication during an emergency is crucial during an emergency. Reference KnoWhat2Do's Videos so you can communicate through Sign Language in emergency situations (narration in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese).