Weather Warning Sirens

To provide citizens with the most effective outdoor warning system possible, the cities of Dakota County, including Inver Grove Heights, utilize outdoor warning sirens when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning or thunderstorm warning.

Outdoor warning siren policy for Inver Grove Heights  

The current activation policy, which is followed countywide, is to sound the sirens when the National Weather Service issues;

  • A Tornado Warning

  • A Severe Thunderstorm Warning when winds exceed 70 miles per hour

The sirens can also be activated for;

  • Other emergencies such as a hazardous chemical spill which requires residents to take protective actions.

Activation of Sirens

  • In accordance with state-wide policy, outdoor sirens are tested at 1:00 p.m., on the first Wednesday of each month. 
    • During the testing, each siren is monitored by Inver Grove Heights Police Officers for volume and rotation.  If there is an issue discovered, it is addressed and fix. 
  • The 6 warning sirens covering Inver Grove Heights are activated through the Dakota Communications Center (DCC). 

Siren Duration

  • Warning sirens do not sound for the duration of the threat; sirens will sound for 3 minutes.  Sirens can be reactivated if a new threat enters the area following the initial warning.  The outdoor warning sirens are never used to announce an "all clear."  This announcement is made only over TV or radio. 

Being Alert

  • The outdoor warning sirens are designed to warn people outdoors to seek shelter and gather additional information through TV or radio for emergency information.  

  • When the sirens are sounding for severe weather or other emergencies, the radio or TV announcements will provide the community with information regarding the type of storm or other emergency and what appropriate safety actions to take.  

  • The city encourages all residents to use NOAA weather radios for receiving warnings in their homes.  Weather radios with Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME) can be programmed to only activate for warnings in Dakota County.  The Dakota County SAME code is 027037.  Weather radios are the best warning method for storms occurring late at night when most people are in their homes sleeping.  NOAA weather radios can be purchased at most electronic stores.  For additional information on weather, radios go to www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

Other Notification Options

  • Local public safety has other tools that they use to alert the public. This includes the Emergency Alert Program used by the Dakota Communications Center. This mass phone notification system allows the public to register their cell phones to receive non-weather-related alerts on their phones when issued by local public safety officials. Sign up for the Emergency Alert Program.