When are the Tornado Sirnes Sounded in Jackson?

With the weather events of last week in Oklahoma, it has brought several questions and calls from citizens. Citizens should not use the Tornado sirens as their sole resource to warn about impending weather. Citizens should not call 911 or Jackson Police and ask why they are sounded. We offer the following information about when the Warning Sirens in our city are sounded and why.


When are they sounded?

Ø A TORNADO WARNING has been issued for Cape Girardeau County by the National Weather Service. The Sirens are not sounded for any watches or any other warnings. They are only for Tornado warnings for Cape Girardeau County. They are activated by Communications Officers of the Jackson Police Department.

Ø Monthly testing at noon, on the first Monday of every month unless there is impending severe weather in the area. The sirens are tested by sending a short tone to determine if they are functioning properly.

Ø The sirens are activated on the first day of the second week of March to coincide with the State of Missouri Severe Weather Exercise.

Why can my friends hear them in their homes and I can’t?

The sirens are only designed for warning persons who are outdoors and are not meant to be heard inside homes. So if you live close to a siren you will hear it in your home, but if you don’t live close to a siren you may not hear it in your residence.

What should I do when the sirens are activated?

It will be your responsibility to seek shelter and to tune into local radio, TV, or weather radios for further instructions. Jackson Police recommends battery operated radios and weather radios to get more information about the warning.

When they are activated for a warning, how long will they sound?

The sirens sound for 3 minutes

How long will it be between the siren is sounded to when the actual storm might be here?

The sirens are activated when the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning for Cape Girardeau County and there is no set time frame given. It could be matter of minutes or longer. When they sound seek shelter immediately.

How come they may be sounded more than once?
This is due to Cape County being issued  separate Tornado Warnings by the National Weather Service. They are sounded once per warning that is issued. They are not sounded as an all clear but only to warn of a tornado.