City completes upgrade of outdoor warning sirens

The City of Minneapolis has completed the replacement of its system of outdoor warning sirens, which will modernize the system and provide better coverage to outdoor areas around the city. The new system now includes 42 sirens spaced out around the city, replacing the 30 sirens that covered the city outside downtown.

Minneapolis residents will hear these sirens twice tomorrow during statewide tornado drills that will be conducted as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. The first drill is statewide at 1:45 p.m. to allow homeowners, schools, retail businesses, hospitals and other organizations to practice their emergency plans. The City of Minneapolis will be activating its tornado sirens at 1:45 p.m. and again at 6:55 p.m. to allow families and second-shift workers to practice their severe weather response. Please take a few minutes that evening to talk with the members of your household about where you’ll take shelter.

Time for upgrade
The City’s old sirens were installed between 1950 and 1965 so an upgrade was necessary. The old sirens were electromechanical while the new sirens are electronic. The new sirens also have a battery backup, so they can sound even if the area they’re in loses power.

What to do when you hear the sirens
For severe weather warnings, outdoor warning siren activation in Hennepin County is based on the following criteria:

Published Apr 23, 2014