Outdoor Warning System

Siren System Activation

Residents of the city could experience a variety of emergencies including the effects of severe weather, civil defense, and hazardous materials accidents. The City of Plano has an extensive Outdoor Warning System, comprised of 43 warning sirens.

Criteria for Siren Activation 

  • The National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning with destructive winds in excess of 70 mph or a Tornado Warning for areas in and around the City of Plano.
  • Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado in the City of Plano, or in a neighboring jurisdiction with the potential to affect the City of Plano.
  • Reported hail of 1.5" in diameter or greater.
  • Other emergency as directed by the Department of Emergency Management.

What do I do when I hear the outdoor warning sirens?

Seek shelter immediately indoors and away from windows. If shelter is not available and severe weather is in the area, lie in a low-lying area. Make sure the low-lying area you choose is not prone to flooding. 

Note: In this area WBAP Radio, 820 a.m., is the designated Emergency Alert System (EAS) station. Most other radio and television stations will also broadcast information regarding emergencies.

Do not call 911 to ask why the warning sirens have been activated. Only call 911 if you have an emergency to report for Police, Fire or EMS assistance. 

When are the outdoor warning sirens tested?
The outdoor warning system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at noon - weather permitting. We do not test the sirens if the weather is bad or threatening; this helps to ensure that there will be no confusion as to whether it is a test or a real activation.

If you are in a mobile home or vehicle
Mobile homes and vehicles are vulnerable to severe weather. Residents of mobile home parks should have a designated shelter in the community or a plan to evacuate to an off-site shelter location. If there is no time to get to shelter, abandon the mobile home or vehicle and lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression with your hands covering your head.