Tornado Awareness

Monthly Test


Pickaway County will test the tornado sirens the first Wednesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. for a duration of 30 seconds. If severe weather is in the forecast for the area, the test will be postponed to avoid confusion.
The monthly tests are conducted to test the operation of the sirens and to familiarize the residents with the sound of the siren should a tornado or tornado like weather approach.

Frequently Asked Questions (National Weather Service)


1. What does it mean when I hear the outdoor warning sirens?
In short, it means that something life-threatening is happening and you should go indoors and get more information.
2. What should I do when I hear the outdoor warning sirens?
When the sirens are heard, go inside and tune into local media to get more information.
3. Why can’t I hear the outdoor warning sirens in my house?
Sirens are an outdoor warning system designed only to alert those who are outside that something dangerous is approaching.
4. How can I get alerts when I’m at work or in my house?
For alerts indoors, every home and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. NOAA Weather Radio is like a smoke detector for severe weather, and it can wake you up when a warning is issued for your area so you can take appropriate action. They can be purchased in stores such as Target, Walmart, Radio Shack, Amazon, etc.
5. Why don’t the outdoor warning sirens sound an all-clear signal?
People should be indoors and monitoring local media for updates on the storm.
6. Why are the outdoor warning sirens sometimes sounded for hail and wind?
When thunderstorm winds exceed 70 mph, trees can be uprooted or snapped. Hail that is golf ball sized or larger can break windows. Both of these things pose a direct risk to life if people are caught outdoors.
7. Will the outdoor warning sirens warn me of every dangerous storm?
The safest approach is to be proactive and use all of the information available to protect yourself and your family from threatening weather. Nothing can replace common sense. If a storm is approaching, the lightning alone is a threat. Sirens are only one part of a warning system that includes preparation, NOAA Weather Radio, and local media.
8. Who activates the outdoor warning sirens?
Sirens are typically activated by city or county officials, usually a police or fire department or emergency management personnel. Check with your city or county officials to learn more.

When a Tornado strikes, what to do: (www.weather.gov)

* Stay Weather-Ready: Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about tornado watches and warnings.
* At Your House: If you are in a tornado warning, go to your basement, safe room, or an interior room away from windows. Don’t forget pets if time allows.
* At Your Workplace or School: Follow your tornado drill and proceed to your tornado shelter location quickly and calmly. Stay away from windows and do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.
* Outside: Seek shelter inside a sturdy building immediately if a tornado is approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe.
* In a vehicle: Being in a vehicle during a tornado is not safe. The best course of action is to drive to the closest shelter. If you are unable to make it to a safe shelter, either get down in your car and cover your head, or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low lying area such as a ditch or ravine.

What to do During a Tornado Watch (Pickaway County Emergency Management Agency)

When a tornado watch is issued, make sure the following items are stored in your safe place.

*helmets, pillows or even a mattress to protect your head from falling and flying debris

*shoes to protect your feet from broken glass

*whistle or noise-maker device to signal for help after the storm passes

*baby items or other items needed for your children

*pet carriers, leashes  and other pet supplies