Outdoor Warning Sirens


Sirens are meant to warn those who are outdoors. If you hear a siren, turn on a radio or TV to hear safety information and seek shelter immediately. The warning sirens that cover Blaine are activated through the Anoka County Communications Center.

The outdoor warning sirens are designed to warn people outdoors to seek shelter and gather additional information through television or radio.

Warning System Testing

To be prepared in the event of an emergency such as a tornado or severe thunderstorm, outdoor warning sirens are tested at 1PM on the first Wednesday of each month.

During these monthly tests you hear two distinct signals. These two different signals warn you of possible threats to your community.

The first, and most used signal, is for tornadoes and other severe weather. This signal is a steady pitched sound.

The second siren sound is for other types of emergencies. It is a warbling sound.

Severe weather awareness week takes place every April. During that week there will be a state-wide tornado drill usually on Thursday at 1:45PM and 6:45PM.

Length of Warning Sound

Warning sirens do not sound for the duration of the threat, sirens will sound for 3 minutes. Sirens can be reactivated if a new threat enters the area following the initial warning. The outdoor warning sirens are never used to announce an "all clear." This announcement is made only over radio or TV.

Additional Uses

The outdoor sirens will also be used for other emergencies such as a hazardous chemical spill which requires residents to take protective actions. If the sirens are sounding for this type of emergency, the radio or TV announcements will inform you of what actions you should take.

Weather Radios

The city encourages all residents to use NOAA weather radios for receiving warnings in their homes. Weather radios with Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME) can be programmed to only activate for warnings in Anoka County. The Anoka County SAME code is 027003.

Weather radios are the best warning method for storms occurring late at night when most people are in their homes sleeping. NOAA weather radios can be purchased at most electronics stores.