Hazards: Tornado Sirens

Tornado icon

There are no tornado sirens in Fairfax County.

Sirens only emit a sound which doesn’t convey a specific message for people to take. Since an “alarm” can mean many things to many people depending on their culture and regions of the country/world where they are from, it’d be unclear what action residents should take if they heard a siren — go inside or go outside; leave the area or stay in the area, etc.

What to Do

Tornadoes can form and strike quickly.

The best advice to stay informed is to register for text/email alerts at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean.

Fairfax County has previously determined that the use of sirens is not feasible for the county due to its mostly suburban population. Emergency managers stress that sirens, too, are limited because they are designed to reach people outdoors.

Sirens are not ideal for suburban counties where people tend to spend more time indoors than outside and should not be relied upon to provide sufficient warning indoors or in noisy areas.

Air-conditioning, thunder, wind, rain, and other conditions can cause the sirens not to be heard indoors or outdoors (even if sirens can be heard during tests).

Related Information

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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