Outdoor Warning Sirens

In 2008 the City of Lake City installed an upgrade to include a DC battery backup, computer based outdoor warning system. This system is designed to alert the public that are outside with limited access to radios and televisions that an emergency situation is occurring.  

How it works
A computer located in the City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) assesses the readiness of all sirens daily using a two-way radio system. If something is not working correctly, we can call the repair service before the sirens are needed in an emergency.

All sirens in Wabasha County, including Lake City, are tested on the first Wednesday of every month at approximately 1 p.m. The test lasts about 2-3 minutes and normally includes the tornado (a steady wail) siren and the hazardous materials incident or attack (high-low) siren. If you think the siren near your home is not working, please contact City Hall at 651-345-5383

Actual Emergency
In an actual emergency the sirens are sounded for three (3) minutes and will sound several times indicate a new or continuing threat. Sirens are sounded when:

  • Winds are reported in excess of 60 MPH
  • Hail ½ inch or more in diameter
  • Tornado has been sighted in the area by trained spotters
  • Weather service advises of above indicators on radar.
Sirens are NEVER activated to issue an “ALL CLEAR”

As of 2012, Lake City has 6 sirens located in the City. See the Siren location map attached for siren locations and coverage.

Note that the Sirens are for outdoor warning only. They are meant to be heard outdoors only under reasonable conditions. Sirens are not designed to be heard over loud music, mowers or other outdoor power equipment or inside buildings where you would have access to radio, television, internet or Weather Alert radios.

Siren activation is being done to alert people outdoors of an impending severe weather or other event. It is recommended that if you hear the sirens, you immediately stop what you are doing, go indoors, and tune into your NWS Weather Radio, favorite local radio station or TV station for further details and seek shelter immediately if conditions warrant it. An outdoor warning siren being sounded is not an invitation to go outside and look around to see what is happening. Just a reminder that Metro Area TV and radio stations may not report on severe weather events in Southeastern Minnesota.

To receive severe weather warnings indoors, Lake City Emergency Management and the National Weather Service recommend the purchase of a weather radio, which can be found on-line or can be purchased from local stores that sell electronics such as Radio Shack or Wal-Mart. Many of the newer radios can be programmed for a specific county using the Specific Area Message Encoding protocol (SAME code) and can set to sound for a variety of weather events other than just severe weather. To find other Minnesota county SAME codes, visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/ccov.php?State=MN for the complete listing.

If you have any questions on the outdoor warning siren notification system please feel free to contact us.

To view the City's Siren Coverage Map, download the map below: