City weather sirens are sounded when the National Weather Service issues a "Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning" for any location in Eau Claire County. Sirens are sounded to alert residents to severe thunderstorms and/or tornado sightings anywhere in Eau Claire County. This covers an area of approximately 650 square miles. It may be that an approaching storm will miss the city, but sirens are still sounded to alert residents to threatening weather conditions in the area.
Sirens are designed to be heard outside. The weather warning system is tested at 11 a.m. on the first Monday of the month. (If the weather is at all rainy or stormy, the sirens will not be tested.) Please do not call 9-1-1 for information when the sirens are sounded. Turn on a radio or television for weather information.
What to do during a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch
- Stay alert to changing weather conditions - Listen to radio or television for updates.
- Avoid natural lightning rods such as golf clubs, fishing poles, tractors, bicycles and camping equipment.
- Be prepared to seek shelter if a severe storm approaches.
- Avoid electrical equipment and telephones.
- Avoid bathtubs, water faucets and sinks because metal pipes can transmit electricity.
- Watch for tornado danger signs; dark, often greenish sky; wall cloud; large hail; cloud of flying debris; funnel cloud; roaring noise.
What to do if the watch becomes a warning
- Go to a "safe place" in your basement. If there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest floor.
- If you live in a mobile home, leave and go to a nearby sturdy building or shelter.
- In a multi-story building, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
- Take along a battery-powered radio, flashlight and fresh batteries, if possible.
If you are caught outdoors
- Stay away from anything taller than you or items with metal.
- Stay away from water.
- Take shelter somewhere that doesn't stand above the landscape - not under large trees or in isolated sheds.
- If there is no shelter, find a low spot or ditch. Kneel, put your hands on your knees and bend forward. Don't lie flat on the ground.
Severe Thunderstorm - High winds (over 58 mph), hail and the potential for tornados.
Watch - Conditions are present which could result in the development of a severe thunderstorm or tornado. Stay alert to weather conditions.
Warning - Take Shelter! A severe thunderstorm or tornado has developed and is approaching the area.