Outdoor Warning Sirens & Map
There are currently 47 sirens in Crow Wing County (view a map (PDF) of where outdoor warning sirens are located). The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office 911 Communication Center tests / activates all sirens in Crow Wing County at 1 pm on the first Wednesday of the month throughout the year. When the outdoor warning sirens are activated they will run for approximately 4 minutes. The sound range of a siren is about one mile, depending on the surrounding terrain.
Siren Activation Criteria
For severe weather warnings, outdoor warning siren activation in Crow Wing County is based on the following criteria:
- When a city or county public safety official (such as a designated police officer or fire marshal) request activation due to imminent danger to life and/or property. In this situation Crow Wing County also notifies the National Weather Service of Duluth.
- When a tornado warning or severe thunderstorm warning with sustained winds of 70 mph or greater is issued for Crow Wing County by the National Weather Service of Duluth.
- When a trained Skywarn spotter requests activation due to imminent danger to life and/or property. In this situation Crow Wing County also notifies the National Weather Service of Duluth.
Sirens may be activated for each city / township individually or sirens will be sounded for all municipalities within Crow Wing County. Do not call local fire or police agencies to ask why the sirens are sounding. If it is an emergency, they are busy responding to the emergency situation. No "all clear" signal is issued.
What To Do When You Hear Warning Sirens
When residents hear the sirens, they are urged to seek shelter and turn on a radio or TV for emergency notification. When the sirens are sounding for severe weather, radio or TV announcements will provide you with information regarding the type of storm and appropriate safety actions to take.
Stay Alert While Inside Your Home
The siren system was not designed to be a warning device for people inside their homes, it was designed for people who are outside, away from radios or TV. One way to stay alert while inside your home is to purchase a NOAA weather radio. It is important to stay aware of the weather situation on high risk days and to monitor local radio and TV stations for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather conditions. A NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is a radio system designed to broadcast continuous weather information, forecasts and warnings with no commercial interruptions. Weather messages repeat about every 6 minutes, but may be slightly longer during highly active weather events. During severe weather, messages may repeat as often as every 3 minutes. Most radio stations are maintained at all times during the day.
The primary objective for NOAA Weather Radio is to broadcast warnings immediately to the public. All other information is considered to be secondary and may be suspended from the radio broadcasts during times of severe weather or warning events. Some radios are equipped with special message encoders that activate an audible alarm. This alarm feature signifies to the listener that some warning or special emergency information has been broadcast. The listener can then listen to the emergency message.
Most NOAA weather radios can be purchased at discount, electronics, and mariner supply stores. Prices vary from $20 - $200 depending on the model and features.
A second way to stay alert of severe weather while inside your home is to sign up for Crow Wing County ALERT. This emergency mass notification system allows the public to register their contact information for many different types of emergencies, including severe weather.