There are three types of weather alerts: advisory, watch, and warning. It is important to know the difference.
- Warning: A warning means that a severe weather event is imminent or already occurring. Take immediate action to protect yourself and those around you.
- Watch: A watch means that conditions are favorable for a severe weather event to occur. Be prepared to take protective action.
- Advisory: An advisory means that a severe weather event is occurring, but is not dangerous enough for a warning. Be cautious.
There are many methods used to warn the public of emergencies, but none of them are perfect. That is why it is important to always have multiple ways to receive warnings.
Receive free warnings directly from the City of Rochester to your computer or phone. Sign up now for Rochester Alert.
Emergency Alert System (EAS) - You may hear an EAS message over the radio or on TV. Listen carefully to the message and follow emergency instructions
Outdoor warning sirens - Sirens are used to warn of tornadoes. When you hear an outdoor warning siren, go indoors and seek shelter
Wireless Emergency Alerts - A nationwide system providing lifesaving information for the state of Minnesota. If you are visiting Rochester, or have not signed up for Rochester Alert you can still receive emergency alerts. Wireless emergency alerts are used to send concise, text-like messages to capable smartphones during emergency situations. All smartphones made in 2012 and beyond automatically allow emergency alerts sent over the federal wireless emergency alert system. Wireless emergency alerts are sent by Rochester or Olmsted County public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), and the President of the United States.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are designed to get your attention with a unique alert and vibration. WEAs are rebroadcast until the emergency situations has passed and is no longer a threat to those in the area. Follow emergency instructions to be safe.