Outdoor Warning Siren System
The system is comprised of six sirens located throughout the city for emergencies that may include tornadoes, high winds, civil defense and hazardous materials. The sirens are activated from the 911 Center at City Hall. View a Map of the Siren Coverage in University Park (PDF).
The Outdoor Warning Siren System is designed to warn residents who are outside only. With today's air-conditioned and well insulated homes and our well built vehicles, the sirens may not be heard by those inside. Residents are encouraged to purchase a weather alert radio and sign up for Code Red, a free severe weather notification service.
Activation of Outdoor Warning Sirens
The City's policy and criteria for activation of the outdoor warning sirens was developed in coordination with the National Weather Service. It is generally consistent with criteria used in the surrounding cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Outdoor warning sirens may be activated to notify residents for a number of reasons, including (but not limited to):
- The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning or Severe Thunderstorm Warning with the phrase "Destructive winds in excess of 70 miles per hour (or higher) are likely with this storm" for University Park
- Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado in the jurisdiction, or in a neighboring jurisdiction that has the potential to affect University Park
- Reported hail of 1.25 inches in diameter or greater
- Hazardous chemical emergency
- Other emergencies, as deemed necessary by city administration (in the event of any emergency when residents need to move indoors for their safety)
Once activated, the sirens sound a steady tone for at least three minutes. Depending upon the weather conditions, the system may be continually activated until the danger has passed. An "all clear" message is not sounded.
What to Do When You Hear the Outdoor Warning Sirens
- When you hear an outdoor warning siren immediately seek shelter indoors.
- Turn on your radio or television or listen to your weather alert radio.
- Go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor of the building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
- Stay away from windows and doors. Get under something sturdy such as a table and if possible, cover yourself with a blanket or sleeping bag.
- It is strongly recommended that residents designate a shelter area for their home in advance and practice going to that area as a family.
- If you are in an office building during a severe storm, seek shelter on the lowest level of the building. You can also use the fire escapes or restrooms as shelter areas. Likewise, remember to designate your shelter area in advance; there will be less confusion during severe weather if the location is pre-determined.
- Don't call 911 to ask why the outdoor warning sirens have been activated. Only call 911 if you have an emergency to report for Police, Fire or Emergency Medical Services assistance.
City of Dallas Siren Activations
There may be times when the City of University Park does not activate its outdoor warning sirens and the City of Dallas does. Based on the activation criteria, each situation is carefully evaluated by the University Park emergency management staff using the latest information. Since Dallas surrounds University Park, University Park residents may hear some Dallas sirens activate. University Park's outdoor warning sirens will only be activated if the threat concerns University Park.
University Park Outdoor Warning Siren System Test
The system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 1 pm, weather permitting. In the event that inclement weather is in the immediate area or forecast, the test may be postponed until the next scheduled test date.