Outdoor Warning System

Siren System Activation

Residents of the city could experience a variety of emergencies including the effects of tornadoes, civil defense, and hazardous materials accidents. That is why the City of Plano has an extensive Outdoor Warning System, comprised of 37 warning sirens and a system for overriding cable television programming that would be used in the event the public needed to be notified of these situations. 

Criteria for Siren Activation


  1. The National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning with destructive winds in excess of 70 mph or a Tornado Warning for areas in and around the City of Plano.
  2. Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado in the City of Plano, or in a neighboring jurisdiction with the potential to affect the City of Plano. 
  3. Reported hail of 1.25" in diameter or greater. ( 1 inch may be more appropriate for areas or events where large numbers of people are outdoors)
  4. Other emergency as directed by the Department of Emergency Management. 

What do I do when I hear the warning sirens?

Seek shelter immediately indoors and away from windows. If shelter is not available and severe weather is in the area, lie in a low-lying are. Make sure the low-lying area you choose is not prone to flooding. 

Note: In this area WBAP Radio, 820 AM , is the designated Emergency Alert System (EAS) station. Most other radio and television stations will also broadcast information regarding emergencies. Those with cable TV may turn to PTN, Time Warner Channel 16 or Verizon FiOS Channel 30 or 31, for official information from the Plano Warning Center. 

Do not call 911 to ask why the warning sirens have been activated. Only call 911 if you have an emergency to report for Police, Fire or EMS assistance. 

When are the sirens tested?

The warning system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 12:00 pm (noon)- weather permitting. We do not test the sirens if the weather is bad or threatening; this helps to ensure that there will be no confusion as to whether it is a test or a real activation. 

If you are in a mobile home or vehicle

Mobile homes and vehicles are vulnerable to tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Residents of mobile home parks should have a designated shelter in the community or a plan to evacuate to an off-site shelter location. If there is no time to get to shelter, abandon the mobile home or vehicle and lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression with your hands covering your head. NEVER try to out run a tornado.

Outdoor Warning Siren Map