Verlin Custer of Custer Electric maintains the weather warning siren system. This system of six sirens is tested at noon on Fridays unless the temperature is below 32 degrees or if inclement weather is occurring at that time. To assure dependability of operation, each siren and its component support system(s) is optimized annually including all backup batteries at each location.
Memorial Park at the softball diamond
In the alley by the hospital
Eighth and Jackson Streets
City Garage at 517 East Ninth Street
Dawson’s on Water Street
Little League Park on the city’s west side
Sirens are activated upon receiving:
A “Tornado Warning” from the National Weather Service (NWS).
A funnel cloud is reported to the 911 center during a “Tornado Watch.”
A funnel cloud sighting during a “Severe Weather Warning” and confirmed by a trained weather observer and/or police officer or firefighter.
At the specific request of the NWS, Homeland Security, and/or Emergency Management.
To assure receipt of timely warnings, an independent audio alarm (NWS radio) is monitored/sounded to gain the attention of busy dispatch personnel calling to their attention that a severe weather alert is being generated. Typewritten warnings are also produced. The Indiana Data Communications System also produces warnings and the 911 Communication Center also monitors local television station weather reports.
To minimize premature siren activation, 911 Communications implemented a predicted path warning policy. When a severe weather warning storm is announced by the NWS, 911 Communications will track the storm and if a tornado warning is issued by the NWS, the sirens will be sounded ahead of the time that the predicted storm path crosses the city boundaries.
Tornado sirens are intended to alert persons who are outdoors to seek shelter indoors. Persons indoors may or may not be able to hear a siren and should rely instead on a NWS radio which sounds a NWS generated audio alarm. This is an inexpensive device easily obtainable at most electronic stores.