Outdoor Sirens

Carthage operates 9 outdoor warning sirens that sound during severe weather events, including large hail, heavy winds, and tornado warnings. Though the sirens are placed strategically throughout the city, (map of siren locations (PDF)) they are designed to warn people who are outdoors. People who are inside may not hear them, as air conditioning, thunder, wind, rain, and other conditions can drown out the sound.

Sirens are activated for:

  • Hail greater than 1 inch in size

  • Winds greater than 70 mph

  • Tornado warnings from the National Weather Service named Carthage in the path.

If you hear sirens, you should get indoors, find shelter and seek information by following these storm and tornado safety tips.

Siren Testing

The City of Carthage tests outdoor warning sirens at 10 am on the second Wednesday of every month. Tests will not be performed during severe weather events. If Carthage is experiencing severe weather on a regularly-scheduled date for siren testing, please assume the siren is weather-related, seek shelter immediately, and check the City's website for additional information.

Siren Policy

Sirens are activated when a tornado or other threat to the area exists. Carthage Emergency Management determines potential threats based on the evaluation of all available information. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • National Weather Service watch and/or warning text

  • Weather radar

  • Reports from trained weather-spotters or public safety officers

All sirens are sounded unless the threat is clearly confined to an individual zone(s), in which case sirens can be sounded individually. Sirens will sound for three minutes initially, and then intermittently throughout the warning period as needed.