NOAA Weather Radio Siren Warning System Lightning Detection System
Warming Center Update - March 4, 2023
All Ann Arbor District Library locations are open on Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for those in need of charging devices or to warm up. Given current conditions, the city will not be opening overnight warming centers.
Emergency Alert Issued - March 3, 2023
Due to severe weather conditions, the City of Ann Arbor is urging all motorists not to drive due to extremely hazardous driving conditions within the city limits. The majority of local roads are or may become impassible. Updates will be provided at www.a2gov.org/alerts.
Your safety is our top concern – that’s why the City of Ann Arbor wants to make sure you know about emergencies and incidents as they happen.
The City of Ann Arbor uses Washtenaw County's emergency notification system powered by Everbridge to make sure you know about issues that may affect your safety. This system allows the City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County to contact thousands of residents and businesses quickly via phone, email or text.
How to Register?
To register, visit www.washtenaw.org/alerts and create a new Everbridge account. This system is not linked to the city's previous notification system, CodeRED, so users must register a new account. Because this system is nationwide, you may need to create a unique user name if the one you commonly used is taken, such as your first initial and last name. You will then enter your email, address,
and contact information to create an account. We recommend signing up for Washtenaw County and City of Ann Arbor
The City of Ann Arbor respects your privacy and will never share or distribute your personal information, unless required to do so by law. Additionally, we will never use your information for any purpose other than to send emergency notifications or important information pertaining to Ann Arbor.
NOAA Weather Radio
It is recommended that you purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio with SAME technology (specific area message encoding), available at local electronics stores. This will allow you to program your radio for Washtenaw County and receive alerts and information regarding your local weather or other emergencies. These radios will sound an alert if there is an emergency alert system (EAS) warning for your area.
Siren Warning System
The City of Ann Arbor has 22 siren locations throughout city limits. The sirens are tested every second Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m., with a one-minute wail. Testing of sirens is performed from March through October.
Washtenaw County sirens are tested on the first Saturday of the month at noon from March through September.
The sirens are an outdoor warning system only. They are not intended to be heard indoors. If you hear them while indoors, consider yourself fortunate for the advance warning. Please call 734.794.6978 if you are outdoors and do not hear the sirens on the scheduled time and day of the testing.
When the sirens are actually activated, it can be for various reasons. These include:
- Tornado warning anywhere in Washtenaw County.
- Severe thunderstorm warning with confirmed winds of 75 miles per hour or greater anywhere in Washtenaw County.
- A hazardous material spill that requires immediate protective action.
- Any other local emergency that requires immediate action or for other national threats such as an imminent threat alert from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - National Terrorism Advisory System.
When the sirens are activated, you are advised to “go in / tune in.” Immediately go inside, take cover in a safe area and listen on your battery-operated radio to the local EAS radio stations for official information:
- WEMU 89.1 FM
- WWWW 102.9 FM
- WQKL 107.1 FM
- WTKA 1050 AM
- WLBY 1290 AM
Emergency alerts will also be broadcast on Community Television Network (channels 16, 17, 18 and 19), emailed to “emergency alerts” subscribers, and shared via the city’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Sirens will sound for three minutes with a steady wail in the event of an actual emergency. There will not be an “all-clear” alert from the sirens. Listen, instead, for an all-clear announcement to be broadcast on the radio.
- West Ellsworth and Varsity Drive.
- Eisenhower Parkway and South Main Street.
- Verle Avenue and Eddy Street.
- Platt Road and Washtenaw Avenue.
- Page Avenue and Jewett Avenue.
- Las Vegas Drive and Runnymead Boulevard.
- Koch Avenue and Third Street.
- Geddes Avenue and Geddes Heights Drive.
- Fuller Court West of Huron Parkway.
- Hubbard Street and Green Road.
- Murfin Avenue and Hayward Street.
- Summit Street and Hillcrest Drive.
- Dexter Avenue and North Maple Road.
- Newport Road and Warrington Drive.
- Pontiac Trail and Skydale Drive.
- Nixon Road and Haverhill Court.
- Devonshire and Belmont.
- East University and Tappan.
- Gralake and Central Avenue.
- Detroit Street and North Fifth Avenue.
- Lambeth Drive and Ascot Road.
- Earhart Road and Geddes Road.
Lightning Detection System
The city also has a lightning detection warning system, Thor Guard, installed at some of the City of Ann Arbor parks and recreation facilities. The Thor Guard lightning warning system senses the "chance of lightning," not necessarily the occurrence of lightning. Therefore, the system activates even if there is no lightning detected. The system senses the chance of lightning within about a 5-mile area around the main sensor, by measuring the static electricity between earth and sky.
All the systems are equipped with programmable timers, so they are not set to alarm between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when there are no swimmers, golfers or park users. Sirens sound to warn park users and facility managers to take appropriate precautions (all swimmers out of the pool, golfers off the course, etc.). The Thor Guard air horns’ audible range is about 2,000 feet from each detection system. When the system detects lightning, there will be one long tone (approximately 30 seconds). The all-clear siren will be three short horn blasts (approximately 10 seconds long).
- Buhr Park Pool roof.
- Fuller Park Pool roof.
- Gallup Park Livery roof.
- Huron Hills Golf Course clubhouse, pump building on Huron River, west side of Huron Parkway (500 yards south of the clubhouse).
- Leslie Park Golf Course clubhouse roof, sixth hole on the green, 14th hole on the green.
- Veterans Memorial Park Ice Arena roof, ball fields (light pole, 200 yards north of ice arena).