Tornado Sirens

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Hamilton County 911 Communications maintains the weather warning siren system for Carmel and Clay Township. This system is tested weekly each Friday at 11 AM unless the temperature is below 32 degrees or if inclement weather is occurring at that time.

Sirens are activated upon receiving:

  1. A “Tornado Warning” from the National Weather Service NWS.
  2. A funnel cloud is reported to the 911 center during a “Tornado Watch”.
  3. A funnel cloud sighting during a “Sever Weather Warning” and confirmed by trained weather observer and/or a police officer or fire fighter.
  4. At the specific request of the NWS, Homeland Security, and/or Emergency Management.

To assure receipt of timely warnings, an independent audio alarm (NWS radio) is monitored/sounded to gain the attention of busy dispatch personnel calling to their attention that a severe weather alert is being generated. Type written warnings are also produced. The Indiana Data Communications System also produces warnings and the 911 Communication Center also monitors local television station weather reports.

911 Center maintains 21 sirens throughout Carmel-Clay Township. To assure dependability of operation, each siren and its component support system(s) is optimized annually including all backup batteries at each location.

To minimize premature siren activation, 911 Communications implemented a predicted path warning policy. When a severe weather warning “storm” is announced by the NWS, 911 Communications will track the storm and if a “Tornado Warning” is issued by the NWS, the Carmel sirens will be sounded ahead of the time that the predicted storm path crosses the boundary of Carmel-Clay Twp.

Tornado sirens are intended to alert persons who are outdoors to seek shelter indoors. Persons indoors may or may not be able to hear a siren and should rely instead on a NWS radio which sounds a NWS generated audio alarm. This is an inexpensive device easily obtainable at most electronic outlet stores. Carmel Communications maintains one in operation at all times in the dispatch center