OFD Reminds Residents Of Monthly Siren Test
The Oskaloosa Fire Department wants remind everyone that we are entering warm weather months and severe weather season.
Weather permitting, the storm sirens in Oskaloosa are tested at 2pm on the first Monday of each month from April through September.
The outdoor storm warning sirens will be activated if the national weather service has issued a tornado warning for Mahaska County and the tornado is headed in a direction that would likely affect the city of Oskaloosa. Also, if a trained storm spotter indicates to the 911 center that a severe thunderstorm contains damaging winds and/or hail, the sirens can be activated.
If the storm sirens are sounded for a severe weather event, you need to take shelter right away. Get to the lowest level of your home and move to an interior room or hallway. If you are outside and cannot find indoor shelter, you need to get to the lowest place you can find such as a ditch or culvert and cover your head.
As the National Weather Service continues to update radar and change their criteria for severe storms we need to stay current with the City of Oskaloosa procedures for siren activation. This new policy allows the Mahaska County E-911 Center some flexibility in siren activation if a storm “pops up” suddenly and we do not have spotters in position, or if adequate time will not allow spotters to be placed. This policy will become effective on May 22, 2013 at 12:00 noon.
The Outdoor warning sirens shall be sounded for a:
A. Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service and/or
B. Tornado or funnel cloud reported by a trained spotter.
C. Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by the National Weather Service or a report from a trained spotter that includes:
-Wind 70mph or greater (whole trees blown down) (Additional background at www.spc.ncep.noaa.gov/efscale) and/or golf ball sized hail or larger (1.75 inch diameter or greater)
There will be no all clear signal from outdoor warning sirens.
Citizens are expected to be indoors and should monitor local media for additional information.