Severe Weather Sirens F.A.Q.


  1. What do the guidelines say?

    Under the Chicago Ridge outdoor warning system guidelines, sirens will be sounded for:
    Tornado Warnings and  Severe Thunderstorms with winds occurring / forecast to be 70 mph or greater.  The sirens may be sounded multiple times during the threat. There will be no "all clear" signal for the sirens. 
  2. What should I do when I hear the sirens?

    Go inside to the lowest level, most-interior room of the structure and tune to NOAA All-Hazards Radio or the local media for more detailed information on the storm's location, timing, and intensity.
  3. When are the sirens tested?

    Sirens will be tested on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 A.M. If actual severe weather threatens that day, the test will be delayed until the next monthly scheduled test. A "growl" test may be conducted at anytime.  A "growl" test activates the system without a full audible alert of the system.
  4. Why don't outdoor warning sirens sound an all-clear signal?

    People should be indoors and monitoring local media or NOAA All-Hazards Radio for updates on the storm.
  5. How often can I expect the sirens to sound for severe weather?

    On average, the Chicago Ridge Area experiences approximately 5-10 storms each year that meet the siren guidelines.
  6. Why were the guidelines developed?

    When life-threatening weather is approaching, minutes or even seconds could make a difference. If people are unsure or confused about an alert, they may not respond quickly or appropriately. By adopting common oudoor warning system guidelines, confusion will be minimized, response time reduced, and lives will be saved.
  7. How can I get alerts when I'm at work or in my house?

    For alerts indoors, every home and business should have a NOAA All-Hazards Radio. NOAA Radio is like a smoke detector for severe weather, and it can wake you up when a warning is issued for your area so you can take appropriate action.
  8. Will the sirens warn me of every dangerous storm?

    The safest approach is to be proactive and use all of the information available to protect yourself and your family from threatening weather. Nothing can replace common sense. If a storm is approaching, the lightning alone is a threat. Sirens are only one part of a warning system that includes preparation, NOAA All-Hazards Radio, and the local media.
  9. Who activates the sirens?

    Sirens are typically activated by the EMA Deprtament, Police Department or Fire Department.
  10. Who do I contact if the siren in my neighborhood is not working?

    If your siren is not functioning properly you should contact the Chicago Ridge Emergency Management Agency at 708-857-4469 and contact Commander Bryan Pudinoff.  He will need to know the siren location and description of the problem in order to direct the maintenance / repair request.
  11. How can I get more information?

    NOAA All-Hazards Radio: