Warning sirens tell you to seek shelter

Warning sirens can do more than alert residents of an approaching tornado. The sirens may warn citizens of more than just weather-related emergencies.

The wailing sound also can be used to alert people of such emergencies as hazardous material spills, other man-made disasters, or terrorist attacks.

The sirens tell people to seek shelter indoors and, as soon as possible, tune into a local media source – a radio or television station, weather radio or Internet-based sources such as

That said, there are things the warning sirens don’t do. They do not summon people to go outside and look for funnel clouds. And the sirens are not a prompt to dial 911 and ask what’s going on; 911 should only be used to summon emergency help.

Remember, sirens mean seek shelter.