Audible Emergency Warning System

The City of Manchester public safety officials would like to ensure that all residents understand the policy for initiating the Audible Emergency Warning System located atop Manchester City Hall.

The warning system is in place to warn residents of tornados or severe thunderstorms with wind speeds expected to reach or exceed 70 mph.

When the audible siren is activated, go inside to the lowest level, most-interior room of a structure and tune to NOAA All-Hazards Radio or the local media for more detailed information on the storm's location, timing, and intensity.

The Audible Emergency Warning System will operate as follows:

  • The outdoor warning system is designed only to inform those who are outside in the open areas, of a tornado warning issued for the area. The system is not designed to warn residents within the confines of a residential, commercial, educational, or other occupancy.
  • In the event of a weather related threat for the Manchester area, the audible sire will be activated for a duration of 3-5 minutes. Residents need to monitor the previously mentioned sources for information regarding when the threat has diminished.
  • Warnings are officially issued by the National Weather Service.
  • Upon an alert, the audible emergency warning system will be activated by a Manchester City public safety official.
  • In the event of an actual sighting of a tornado in or near the Manchester are prior to warning issued by the NWS, law enforcement, fire service, or emergency management agency supervisors can request that the siren be activated.
  • The system is not activated for thunderstorms, other severe weather conditions, or perceive imminent hazards after the initial tornado warning activation has been made.
  • The warning siren will not be activated to signal an "all clear".
  • In the event that a previously issued tornado warning expires, and the NWS issues a fresh tornado warning for the area, the warning system will be activated again in response to the new warning.
  • Residents are asked to refrain from calling 9-1-1 to question the activation or non-activation of the outdoor warning siren. This places and undue burden on the 9-1-1 system and prevents true emergency calls from getting through.

The intent of the audible emergency warning system is to provide ample warning for persons to seek shelter and additional information before the storm arrives. Because of this, the siren may sound before hazardous conditions exist. Due to the nature of severe weather, hazardous conditions may also develop before an activation of the siren is possible.

The safest approach is to be proactive and use all of the information available to protect yourself and your famils from threatening weather. Nothing can replace common sense. If a storm is approaching, the lightning alone is a threat. The audible warning siren is only one part of a warning system that includes preparation, NOAA All-Hazards Radio, and the local media.


The audible emergency warning system's siren shall be audibly tested on the fourth Wednesday of each month at noon. If a severe weather watch or warning is in effect for the Manchester area prior to noon on a scheduled test day, the siren will not be tested that day. The audible emergency warning system siren tests will resume on the next scheduled date.

If testing is required at any time outside of the normal testing schedule, local media outlets will be notified by Manchester public safety officials to better ensure public awareness of the additional testing and hopefully reduce any public concerns.