Policy For Sounding The Outdoor Emergency Warning Sirens:

It is the policy of this City to provide as much warning as possible to the citizens of Columbus whenever reliable notification is received concerning an actual or threatened tornado or other severe weather event this is likely to present a major threat to life or property.

The sirens will be activated under any of the following circumstances:

  1. Whenever directed to do so by officials of the Columbus Police Department, National Weather Service or the Emergency Management Division.
  2. When it is known that Muscogee County has been placed under a Tornado Warning. 
  3. When any governmental employee reports the sighting of a tornado.
  4. When under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning and reliable information is received that damaging winds (55 mph or higher) have hit or are likely to hit Muscogee County.
  5. When directed to do so by any ranking Supervisor of the Columbus Police Department or Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The siren system is capable of producing 6 different tones to warn of different types of emergencies.

  1. Alert Tone - Tornado Warning
    "ATTENTION: A TORNADO WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED. SEEK SHELTER NOW. DO NOT DELAY. SEEK SHELTER NOW."
  2. Wail Tone - Thunderstorm Warning
    "THUNDERSTORM WARNING. LARGE HAIL AND HIGH WIND IS POSSIBLE. LISTEN TO RADIO AND TV FOR DETAILS."
  3. Air Horn - All Clear
    "ALL CLEAR. THE EMERGENCY IS OVER. ALL CLEAR. THE EMERGENCY IS OVER. RESUME YOUR NORMAL ACTIVITIES. ALL CLEAR."
  4. Whoop Tone - Hazardous Materials Released
  5. Attack Tone - Reserved