In Hamilton County, the outdoor warning siren signals are tested at noon the first Wednesday of each month. To ensure that you receive the most timely and current weather information, purchase a tone alerting NOAA weather radio that will receive severe weather watches and warnings broadcast directly from the National Weather Service (NWS). Indoor warning tone alerting NOAA weather radios augment the outdoor warning sirens to give you an integrated indoor and outdoor warning system to best protect you. The outdoor warning sirens in Hamilton County sound a steady tone upon the issuance by the National Weather Service for Hamilton County, Ohio of either of these two severe weather warnings:
The outdoor warning system for Hamilton County is tested at Noon on the first Wednesday of the month. Tests can be postponed if there is severe weather (or potential severe weather) occurring in the local area and activating the outdoor warning system might cause confusion as to whether the activation is a real event. If it is determined that the monthly test will be postponed, the next test will then be the regularly scheduled test on the first Wednesday of the following month at Noon.
There are four basic criteria to activate the sirens for tornadoes:
- The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning for Hamilton County,
- A trained and certified weather spotter reports a tornado
- A tornado is reported by a local public safety official.
- A dangerous situation occurs which requires citizens to seek shelter immediately. WARNING
Once the outdoor warning sirens are activated, seek safe shelter and turn on a radio or TV for emergency information. In seeking shelter, avoid windows. Flying glass can injure or kill. Don’t open windows. Houses don’t explode and allowing strong winds in can do damage or cause injury. The safest place in the home is the interior part of the basement, preferably under something sturdy like a table. If you have no basement, go to an inside room on the lowest floor, like a closet, hallway, or bathroom with no windows. The least desirable place during a tornado is in a motor vehicle. Cars, buses and trucks are tossed easily by tornado winds. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car. Stop your vehicle and get out – seek shelter away from your car in a nearby ditch or ravine; do not get under your vehicle. Lie flat and put your arms over your head.
A statewide test of weather warning dissemination and preparedness procedures is held during Severe Weather Awareness Week in March of each year. This is an excellent time to conduct a test of your personal severe weather preparedness plans. Many weather related injuries and fatalities can be avoided by exercising proper safety procedures. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency.