#7: Tornado Sirens

How many people in the United States know exactly what a tornado siren sounds like? I haven’t the faintest clue what the answer to that is, but I know what a siren sounds like. I have taken that for granted nearly all my life.

I was listening to a Pandora comedy station, and a track about tornado sirens came on. The comedian was visiting Nebraska and the sirens went off. It has barely ever occurred to me that most people have no idea what those sirens sound like. The few times I’ve thought about have led me to these realizations:

  1. There are many cities that never test their sirens.
  2. Even people who live in tornado-prone areas may not know what the siren sounds like.
  3. It’s amusing to me that people might hear a tornado siren and go, “What the hell is that noise?”

Where I grew up they test the sirens once a month – the first Wednesday of every month. You get very used to the sound, but I still think, “What day is it?!” every time they test it because you want to be sure it is actually the first Wednesday of the month.

So here you go, this is what they sound like. Memorize it in case you ever visit tornado country during tornado season.

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5 thoughts on “#7: Tornado Sirens

  1. We test our earthquake alarms all the time in California. Too bad they go off after it starts.

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