City of Windsor, Illinois


Severe Weather Outdoor Warning Siren

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In an effort to plan for tornado events, the City has placed a tornado siren behind city hall.

Following the steps outlined below can minimize the possibility of death or injury during severe weather. Share these tips with your families, and practice a tornado drill in your home this week. Knowing the basics of tornado safety can help you to survive a tornado event.

Why are they called outdoor warning sirens? The sirens are called outdoor warning sirens because their primary purpose is to alert people who are outside to severe weather. The system is not designed to provide notification inside of your home or business. The location, design and performance of the siren system is intended to provide a warning to people who are outdoors to take cover.

What should I do if I hear an outdoor warning siren? If you hear an outdoor warning siren you should seek shelter inside immediately. Once inside, you should turn on a television or radio to learn further information. Local officials will be disseminating information about the emergency through these outlets.

What can I do to be notified of an impending tornado inside my home or business? Every home or business should be equipped with a NOAA Weather Radio. In the event of a watch or warning, most NOAA Weather Radios sound an alarm and turn on automatically. When they are not dispensing watch and warning information, these valuable tools will provide you with detailed forecast information. Many NOAA Weather Radios are equipped with digital S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology. This allows the radio to be programmed to receive automatic warnings specific to Shelby County. Click here for more information regarding NOAA Weather Radios.

When are outdoor warning sirens activated? The outdoor warning sirens are activated when a public safety officer (police, fire or EMS) or trained spotter reports SIGHTING a funnel cloud or tornado in or near the Windsor area. The sirens are also activated when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for Shelby County.

When should I expect to hear testing of the outdoor warning sirens? The outdoor warning sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. for up to one minute in duration, unless severe weather is forecast or in the area. The sirens produce a loud steady tone during the monthly test as well as during an actual tornado

City of Windsor Severe Weather Warning Siren
City of Windsor Severe Weather Warning Siren

What is the difference between a Watch and a Warning? A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means that severe weather is possible. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means that severe weather is in the immediate area. A Tornado Watch means that conditions are present that could produce a tornado. A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted, and that you should prepare to seek shelter. The sirens will only be activated for a tornado warning or if a trained spotter reports a funnel cloud or an actual tornado.

In either case, listen to the radio or television for updates.

Will the sirens provide an "All Clear" signal? No. If the City of Windsor is threatened by a tornado, the sirens will be activated. Any "ALL CLEAR" information is provided by the local news media. The sirens will NOT be activated to indicate an "ALL CLEAR".

Where is the siren located? The siren is strategically located to provide the optimal coverage area for all City residents. The siren is located at:  

  • 1016 Maine Street, Windsor City Hall

Where can I get more information when the sirens are activated? The area media and the National Weather Service will provide updated information. Please do NOT call 911 when you hear the siren. Please use your television or radio to get these updates.

Where do I go in case of a tornado? If a tornado has been sighted, take cover in the safest place possible. A basement is always the first choice.

Building with a basement. Go to the basement. Stay away from windows and chimneys. Hide under the stairs or heavy furniture. Cover your head.

Building without a basement. Go to the lowest level in the central portion of the building. The first choice is an interior closet, bathroom or hallway, away from windows. Cover your head. In all cases you should have a flashlight and a battery operated radio with you. Keep your keys with you. They can disappear in a tornado.

Shopping Center or Large Building. Look for a pre-designated shelter. If you don't see one, go to the middle hallway on the lowest level. Cover your head.

Mobile Home or Car. Leave at once and find shelter in a building. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert with your hands over your head.


Where can I get more information?