Civil Defense

The City owns and maintains three Civil Defense Outdoor warning sirens. The sirens are used to indicate a local emergency or weather related incident. Citizens are advised to immediately tune to local radio stations for further information.

Sirens are tested on the first Wednesday of each month around 1:00 p.m. If you are aware of a siren not working properly, please contact the City Office at (507) 752-7601.


Due to the severe weather storms that may take place in our area it may be a good idea to review what to do in times of emergencies.

  • Severe local storms are tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms which are accompanied by very strong winds or large hail. Heavy rainfall and dangerous lightning may also be associated with these storms. The National Weather Service monitors various conditions in the atmosphere and determines the areas in which severe local storms are most likely to occur. This information is then issued to the public and to emergency services personnel in the form of a watch bulletin.
  • The severe thunderstorm watch or tornado watch states approximately where and for how long the severe storm threat exist. A watch is not a warning. A watch means that weather conditions exist that could develop into severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. During a watch persons should watch for threatening weather and listen for further information on radio or television. It is at this time that local weather spotters are notified of the watch.
  • A severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued whenever these types of storms have been sighted or are indicated by radar. It is at this time that the alert warning signal is issued, which is a 3 to 5 minute steady blast on the siren. (This is different from the attack warning signal which is a 3 to 5 minute wavering siren blast, which means that an enemy attack is taking place against the United States.) The location, size, direction and speed of the storm is issued on commercial radio and television stations. The alert siren signal is tested on the first Wednesday of each month at or shortly after 1:00 P.M..
  • When the alert warning signal is given, people are to seek shelter immediately in a basement or an interior part of the house on the lowest level. Get under something sturdy. In schools, and public places move to designated shelter areas. In mobile homes and vehicles, leave them and go to more substantial shelter. If there is no shelter available lie flat in a nearby ditch. To avoid confusion, all clear signals are broadcast by commercial radio and television stations and not by siren. This is done by notification that all warnings for our area have expired.
  • You can also receive information about severe weather from special radios that monitor the NOAA Weather Radio frequency. These radios are available from many different retail sources.
  • Remember, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can and sometimes do occur without either a watch or warning being issued.

If you have any questions regarding the above information please feel free to contact the city office at (507) 752-7601 or the police department at (507) 828-9707.