When severe weather is mentioned, the type most frequently anticipated is probably the tornado-producing thunderstorm. It’s important to remember that all thunderstorms are potentially dangerous. They can produce heavy rain and flooding, damaging hail, strong straight-line winds and frequent lightning strikes. Outdoor warning sirens are sounded when a tornado or severe weather warning is issued, but if threatening weather is approaching, you should not wait for the sirens to sound before seeking shelter.
The city will sound a siren (tested the first Wednesday of each month) whenever a tornado or severe weather has been sighted in Rice or surrounding counties.
When the siren sounds:
- Seek shelter immediately. Go to the lowest level of the building you are in, preferably a basement. Lay down on the floor in a central hallway as close to the wall as possible. Stay away from windows or doors.
- Do not use elevators; use interior stairways. In Nourse, for example, use the northern stairway rather than the southern one. (The southern one has windows next to it.)
- Take a flashlight and portable radio with you. KYMN 1080 on the AM dial is the local radio station carrying weather information for this area.
An all clear is not sounded after the sirens sound. Security staff will go to each building to inform individuals the warning has been lifted.