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The Lee County EMA employs a number of emergency notification systems for the public, and every citizen should ensure they have multiple means of receiving emergency notifications.  Here are the ways in which our office notifies the public for tornado warnings:

Outdoor Warning Sirens:

Since 2005, the Lee County EMA has utilized a polygon-based warning notification system for siren activation.  Currently, there are 78 sirens throughout our county, which includes the eight on the Auburn University campus.  When a tornado warning is issued, our system will automatically ingest the warning data, overlay the polygon over our siren map, and any siren (or groups of sirens) located within that warning polygon, will sound (see image below). 

MapImage

When a siren sounds for a warning, it will be a three-minute-long steady tone.  

 

Emergency Notification Resources for Lee County

  • NOAA Weather Radio

    NOAA weather radios are still one of the most consistent means of emergency information gathering. Not only do they provide critical weather data, specified to your county, but we can also activate them to provide other pertinent information such as emergency road closures, civil disturbance info or other information the public needs to know.
  • Lee County EMA App for your Smart Phone on Andriod or Apple

    The Lee County EMA has developed a smart phone app to help bring pertinent information to our citizens. This app not only provides a live data stream of the NOAA weather radio, but also has other great information and tools like the “Where Am I?” feature, which allows users to quickly see their location on a map that includes Latitude/Longitude and closest address, and you can send that information via text, social media or email. Additionally, we have a reporting feature which allows citizens to send us important information on storm damage, power outages or other situations which may be useful for us to be aware of.
  • Alabama Saf-T-Net

    The State of Alabama has partnered with Baron Weather Services to provide this great resource, free of charge, to all Alabama residents and guests. You can sign up on their webpage to begin receiving customized weather alerts for your home, workplace or other locations, and while it is optimized with the use of a smart phone, it will still make notifications to you without one.
  • Outdoor Weather Sirens

    Outdoor Weather Sirens

    While technically a technology of the 1950’s, theses outdoor warning sirens are still a tool in the toolbox for mass notifications for those within about a mile and a half radius who are outdoors. Our sirens operate off of an automated polygon warning system.
  • Social Media

    Social media has quickly grown into our easiest and most useful mass notification tools. We are able to reach tens of thousands of people within a matter of seconds. Please ‘Like’ our page on Facebook and subscribe to our Twitter feed.
  • Tone Alert Radios

    Tone Alert Radios

    While these devices are limited to mainly schools, governmental offices and 911 centers, they offer a way for our office to talk directly to the citizens with information about an emergency situation. These devices, however, are being phased out due to more cost effective and efficient means of mass communications.
  • Local News

    Local News

    Our local news, including radio, print and TV, are all great resources for you to utilize during emergency situations. Above are some of the local logos of our media partners.

Step 1: Get a Kit

  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.
  • Store it in your shelter location

Step 2: Make a Plan

Prepare Your Family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
  • Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning:
    • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
    • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
    • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
    • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
    • A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
    • If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
    • Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from the Lee County Emergency Management Agency.  Keep your training current.

Step 3: Be Informed

Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio! Outdoor Warning Sirens are only designed to notify those outdoors in severe weather. Weather Radios with charged batteries are the most dependable form of notification for your family and business and can be purchased at most local electronics stores.

Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard.

  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the governmental emergency plans that have been established in your area:

Lee County

City of Opelika

City of Auburn

Auburn University