Outdoor Warning Systems
Walworth County does not own the local warning sirens. Not all jurisdictions in Walworth County have outdoor warning sirens. Check with your local jurisdiction to see if they have outdoor warning sirens. The Third Wednesday of every month is the monthly siren test conducted by Walworth County. Walworth County does not control the sirens for the City of Delavan or the City of Lake Geneva and they may have different test times.
Problems with Outdoor Sirens
The use of outdoor warnings sirens has come under debate over the last few years. The main problem is that they are very expensive to install and maintain. The sirens are carryovers from the cold war and were first used by civil defense to warn of an impending nuclear strike. After the cold war they began to use them for severe weather. Due to changes in how buildings are constructed, the use of better insulating materials and the addition of air conditioning, it has become very difficult to hear the warning sirens.
In high wind events, the sound of the siren is greatly reduced if you are upwind. As such, it is strongly encouraged that families and businesses invest in a weather radio. The National Weather Service sends out an alert for their respective areas and you can set the area you live in to receive the alerts. The use of cells phones is also an option and they will also receive the weather alerts. Lastly, use local media for minute-to-minute updates on severe weather.
There is no "All Clear" given by the National Weather Service. Once the Watch or Warning has expired, it is up to each individual to assess and see that it is safe to come out of your shelter.
Sign Up for Alerts
The use of Alerting systems like "Alert Sense," which is provided by Walworth County Emergency Management and other companies, is another option to receiving weather alerts and other important messages. You can sign up for these alerts for free.