Address, Phone & Web
|1802 Hill Avenue
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
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Outdoor Warning Sirens
There are several outdoor warning sirens within Dickinson County to alert the public of approaching tornadoes or potentially tornadic thunderstorms. There are several things you should be aware of concerning these sirens:
- Like their name implies, the sirens are meant to be an OUTDOOR warning system. They are not meant or designed to be heard inside homes and other buildings. To be alerted when indoors, you should purchase a NOAA All-Hazards (Weather) Radio.
- The sirens are activated when a Tornado Warning has been issued for Dickinson County and/or when a tornado has been spotted by a trained spotter. We try hard to activate the sirens ONLY in the areas of the county expected to be impacted by the storm.
- When activated, the sirens will sound for approximately three minutes, then automatically shut off. Just because the sirens stop sounding does not mean that the severe weather threat has passed.
- There is NOT an all-clear siren. If the sirens sound again that simply means that another storm is approaching and you should remain in, or return to, your shelter.
If You Hear a Siren
The sirens in Dickinson County are tested each Wednesday at noon unless there are thunderstorms within 50 miles of Dickinson County or a Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Dickinson County. Tests are also suspended during the winter months to prevent damage to the equipment from ice and cold temperatures.
If you hear an outdoor warning siren you should immediately go to your place of shelter. DO NOT CALL 911! When possible, take a battery operated NOAA weather radio or an AM/FM radio with you to monitor conditions while in your shelter. Do not leave your shelter until you hear that the warning has expired or been cancelled or when you are sure that the severe weather threat has passed by.
In the summer of 2007, the Dickinson County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of four new outdoor warning sirens from Federal Signal. These sirens were installed in 2008 near Camp Foster, Methodist Camp, Elinor Bedell State Park and near Okoboji View golf course. In the summer of 2009, two more sirens were installed around Big Spirit Lake, one near Anglers Bay and the other in the Shore Acres area. In 2010, another siren was added in the Moore Lake area and in 2011, in a partnership between the county and the City of Orleans resulted two sirens: one on the west side of Big Spirit Lake, covering Marble Beach Campground and the other covering the east side of Big Spirit. The newest siren, put into service in July of 2012, covers the community of Montgomery.
The expansion is part of a multi-year plan by Emergency Management and the County Board of Supervisors to install sirens in the developed areas of unincorporated Dickinson County. Future sirens have been planned for the northwest side of Big Spirit Lake and Horseshoe Bend County Park.
The map below shows current locations of Outdoor Warning Sirens in Dickinson County. The green circles show the APPROXIMATE coverage areas for each siren.