If you are outdoors, seek shelter immediately. If you are in a suitable shelter, turn on your television, radio or NOAA weather radio to get the latest information and instructions. Locally you can tune to KKWS 105.9 FM, KWAD 920 AM or KSKK 947.7 FM.
Awareness of the sirens and what they mean is a critical piece to gaining knowledge of the emergency incident. First of all, sirens are only meant to be heard outdoors where people may not have access to media outlets such as TV, radio and NOAA weather radios.
If people are indoors, they need to rely on those media sources to get information about the current situation be it weather or some other emergency. The sirens indicate that something is happening that the public needs to be aware of. It is the public’s responsibility to find out what action they need to take. We should not assume that sirens only sound for weather events and on each Wednesday of the month.
How do I know when the event is over?
In a weather event, the National Weather Service (NWS) issues watches and warnings with an expiration time. The NWS can choose to cancel, extend or let the watch/warning expire. In the event the watch/warning is extended, a new expiration time will be included in the information.
If you have an emergency remember to call 911 for the fastest response.
Police Chief, Naomi J. Plautz may be reached by calling 218-631-7700 and the Fire Chief, Dean Uselman may be reached by calling 218-631-7710.
Other Emergencies Phone Numbers:
Emergency Wadena County Dispatch Center Dial 911
Wadena Police Department 218-631-7700
Wadena County Sheriff's Office 218-631-7600
Tri County Hospital (non-emergency) 218-631-3510
Wadena Medical Center (non-emergency) 218-631-1100
In a non-weather event, information about the event and instructions would be available through local media outlets.
There is no “All Clear” siren or signal. In a weather event when a watch/warning expires, you must determine based on observations and information if it is safe to leave your place of shelter.
How is it determined if the sirens are activated?
The National Weather Service, trained Skywarn Spotters or any local public safety official determines if there is a weather threat, and if sirens should be activated. Sirens will be activated in the case of a Tornado Warning – either radar indicated or reports from trained spotters. If high winds are reported – typically exceeding the severe thunderstorm warning threshold of 58 MPH or greater the sirens may be activated.
In the case of non-weather emergencies local public safety officials determine the need to activate the outdoor warning system.
Who sounds the sirens?
Wadena County Sheriff Dispatch Center has the primary responsibility to sound all sirens in the county. Wadena Police Department and Wadena County Sheriff's Department has overall operations policies and guidelines which provide direction and guidance for warning system activation. Wadena Emergency Operations can also activate the local outdoor warning system if needed.
Sirens within the City of Wadena are tested on a monthly basis year round to maintain readiness.
On the First (1st) Wednesday of each month, at approximately 1:00 PM, sirens will activate and reach full volume. The sirens tones when tested are a steady wail. The monthly test lasts approximately 5-8 minutes. This first Wednesday of the month test is initialized by the Wadena County 911 Dispatcher.
Siren testing may be postponed or cancelled if severe weather conditions are currently present or imminent in the area. The City of Wadena has a plan for notifying citizens of critical situations affecting the community, such as severe weather conditions, bio-terrorism attacks, evacuation orders, boil-water notices and missing child reports.
Alerts will be broadcast via an outdoor siren warning system, local media outlets and on the City’s web site.
In the event of severe weather warnings or other civic emergencies, Wadena area residents have access to the FEMA Safe Room which is located on the north side of the Wadena Deer-Creek Middle-High School, at Community Center Drive in southwest Wadena.
The FEMA Safe Room is designed to shelter large groups. The access doors are electronically opened by the Wadena County Sheriff 911 dispatch under the direction of law enforcement. In the event of severe weather or other civic emergencies where emergency shelter is needed, local law enforcement and emergency management will activate and monitor the FEMA Safe Room operations.
If a severe storm warning is issued by the National Weather Service and a notice to seek shelter is given, or the early notification sirens are activated; allow yourself time to reach the FEMA Safe Room. Listen to your local radio stations, KWAD 105.9 FM, KSKK 94.7 FM or the NOAA weather radio, and seek shelter immediately if a violent storm approaches.
The FEMA Safe Room is designed to shelter those residents that are living in mobile home parks orother homes that lack adequate shelter from severe storms; or those traveling or attending outside events. This shelter is also used in the event of severe winter storms and power outages were temporary sheltering is needed. The Early Warning Sirens will be activated in the event of imminent danger. You should seek shelter immediately.
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