Public Warning Sirens

We just completed Severe Weather Preparedness Week last week. This is the week we talk about the spring and summer types of severe weather that affect our area.

golden retriever dog holding an umbrella

As part of this week the National Weather Service had a successful Tornado Drill on Wednesday, April 22 in South Dakota that was heard throughout Pennington County on all of the 30+ sirens in our area. This annual drill is meant to raise awareness regarding tornados that can occur in our area. However, sirens are not only sounded for tornados.siren2

Public warning sirens can be set off for any life-threatening, all-risk, all-hazard emergency from natural threats or human-caused threats. They are intended to warn individuals who are outside to seek official information from trusted sources through radio, television, and the internet. Public warning sirens are not only for tornado warnings. They can and will be used for all kinds of imminent, life-threatening danger.

This year we have not seen the spring snow storms that we usually see. With a loud sigh some of us may say, “Good!” However, the moisture that comes with snow is helpful in reducing the fire danger as we head into summer. High fire danger opens up a whole new set of disasters and emergencies. Have you taken a look around your property to see if you are ready to hold off a fire? If not, check out for more information on steps you can take.

There are two main steps you can take today, right now, to be more prepared for disasters that may come your way.

  1. Be informed about the emergencies that can occur in our area.
    Here’s a quick link to some disasters that have occurred in our area. Pennington County Disaster History.
  2. Build an emergency kit.
    Start with the 10 basic items recommended for your kit. Many times you have them in your home already, you just don’t have them in one place, in a kit that’s portable, like a rolling suitcase, plastic tote or large duffle bag. If you don’t have all of the items, add an item each trip to the store, or each month. You’ll be done in no time. Keep your kit in an easily accessible place and make sure all family members are aware of its location.
    Basic kit items

    • Water
    • Foodemergency-kit
    • Flashlight
    • Battery powered radio
    • First aid kit
    • Tools
    • Hygiene basics like toilet paper and trash bags
    • Important documents
    • Clothes
    • Money (cash or traveler’s checks)


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