Outdoor Warning Sirens

The City of Cleburne operates 12 outdoor warning sirens, strategically located throughout the city. The purpose of these sirens is to alert the citizens when the possibility of danger is approaching due to severe weather, chemical accidents, and national defense. The sirens are located on 45-foot steel poles and operate on A/C power with a battery backup. The sirens are activated and monitored from a computerized system in the 911 Communications Center or the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at City Hall.

Learn about the basics of Outdoor Warning Sirens.


When the siren activation occurs, it is the signal for everyone to move indoors and tune in to a local television or radio station for further information. During severe weather, seek shelter in a sturdy room with a battery-powered radio. Tune to Emergency Advisory Radio AM 1670 or local radio stations for information and NWS warnings. The National Weather Service (NWS) will issue watches and warnings over radio, television, and weather radios.

It is recommended that all individuals and businesses purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio with battery backup and tone alert. Weather radios should include the Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) feature, which allows warnings only for Johnson County.

Siren Tones

The following is a list of warning tones produced by the sirens, a description of each tone, and when the tone is used:

  • Steady Tone - The steady tone is used to alert the public of severe weather. The tone pattern will rise to its peak and maintain full strength without declining for three full minutes. The steady tone will be used for funnel clouds, tornadoes, straight-line winds (70 mph or greater), and large hail over 1.25 inches in diameter.
  • Wail Tone - The wail tone is used to alert the public of hazardous chemical spills or other serious incidents. The tone pattern will slowly rise to its peak and decline to its minimum repeatedly for three minutes. Sirens may be activated only in the area affected by the emergency situation. Instructions to shelter in place or evacuate will be broadcast over radio and or television, or delivered door to door by emergency workers.
  • Fast Wail Tone - The fast wail is used to alert the public if the United States is under attack. The tone pattern will rise and decline much faster than the wail tone for three minutes. National television and radio media will air information concerning national defense.

Monthly Test

Each month, on the first Wednesday at 1 p.m., the city’s Outdoor Warning System will be tested along with the Emergency Advisory Radio Station 1670 AM and CivicReady. The severe weather “Steady Tone” will be activated for two minutes. Should severe weather be in the area during the scheduled monthly test time, the test will be postponed until the following month.