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Warning Sirens

The Murphysboro Emergency Managment Agency maintains an outdoor warning siren network to protect the citizens of the Murphysboro Area. The City currently has 11 outdoor warning sirens. It has five Federal 2001 Sirens with battery backup, four Federal Thunderbolt 1003 sirens, and two Federal SD-10 sirens. Of the sirens currently online five have battery backup and one additional siren is connected to generator power. With activation of the sirens in the City of Murphysboro, sirens are also activated at the Illinois Youth Center, Murphysboro, at the Southern Illinois Airport, and one privately owned siren within the City limits, bringing the total number of sirens on the network to 14. The most recent upgrades to the network occured in Feburary of 2012 when the city added three additional sirens. The improvements include the addition of a 2001 siren on Harry Ray Drive, a 2001 siren on Watson Road at IL Rt 13, and a Thunderbolt at the Jackson Square Shopping Center. As part of the upgrade, the two sirens which were previously out of service were repaired.



What do the differnet signals mean?

- A steady 3 minute signal is refered to as the ALERT signal.  This signal is used when there is an emergency that the public needs to be alerted to.  This signal is essentially telling the public to turn on local television or radio to get emergency instructions.  While this signal is most often associated with tornado warnings, it can be used for other emergencies such as evacuations.  A 3 minute sequence of wailing or fast up and down sound of the siren is used as the ATTACK or "Air Raid" signal.  This signal is used in the event that an enemy attack is indicated by Homeland Security.  

When are the sirens tested?

- The sirens are tested on the first tuesday of each month.  In the event there are storms in area, the monthly test may be canceled.

How can I tell the difference between a test and a real emergency on the first tuesday of the month?

-In the event of an actual emergency, one signal will be transmitted for 3 continous minutes.  In the case of a test, the alert signal is sounded for only 1 minute followed by 30-60 seconds of silence, followed by 1 minute of the Attack signal. 

There was a tornado warning for Jackson County, why were the sirens not sounded?

-The City of Murphysboro has defined specific situations for when the sirens will be sounded.  One of the critera for activation is a tornado warning which is issued for the City of Murphysboro.  The National Weather Service no longer issues storm warnings for an entire county, rather they issue storm-based warnings which are for a specific geographical area (not county lines) based on the storm location and movement.  This prevents sirens being activated and people taking shelter in areas which are not being and will not be affected by the storm.  Often times part of Jackson County may be under a warning for a storm, and this warning may not include the City of Murphysboro.   The sirens will be sounded only when the warning issued affects the City of Murphysboro, or one of our trained weather spotters reports conditions which warrant activation.

Is there an all clear signal?

-Following FEMA guidelines, an all clear signal is NOT sounded.  The alert signal indicates that residents should tune to local news media for the latest information.  Once the danger has passed, this will be relayed though local media.  If a siren sounds a second time during a storm, this indicates that a new threat has been identified.