Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Sirens

What should I do when I hear the sirens?

When the sirens are heard, go inside and tune to local media to get more information.

Why can't I hear the sirens in my house?

Sirens are an outdoor warning system designed only to alert those who are outside that something dangerous is approaching.

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 Weather Radio All-Hazards. NOAA Weather 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.

When are sirens tested?

Sirens are tested the first Tuesday of the month at 10:30 AM if the outside temperature is above 32 degrees and severe weather is not expected.

Why don't the outdoor warning sirens sound an all-clear signal?

People should be indoors and monitoring local media for updates on the storm.

Why are the outdoor warning sirens sometimes sounded for hail and wind?

When thunderstorm winds exceed 70 mph, trees can be uprooted or snapped. Hail that is golf ball sized or larger can break windows. Both of these things pose a direct risk to life if people are caught outdoors.

What is the criteria that must be meet for activation of outdoor warning sirens?

Any of the below criteria must be meet to activate the outdoor warning sirens:

  1. The City must be included in a NWS tornado polygon
  2. Our weather operation center has detected a definite circulation <=2000 feet on Stormlab that is over/approaching the city
  3. We have a verified/reliable/accurate report of a tornado over/approaching the city.
    1. A citizen report does not qualify as verified/accurate/reliable unless the city 911 receives multiple reports with the same report at the same location at the same time.
  4. We see 90+knots (104 mph) knots of wind at the lowest elevation scan over/approaching the city.
  5. Winds of 100+ mph is when structure damage begins. It is also speeds that will produce significant tree damage including the actual uprooting of large trees.