Download the FEMA mobile app for apple or android. The app will send you emergency notifications from the National Weather Service for the locations you select. The app can be used in English or Spanish.
Consider using a weather radio. An emergency weather radio is like a smoke alarm, and will alert you in times of bad weather. Emergency information will be picked up 24 hrs/day, you can hear them inside (sirens are made to warn people outdoors), and the emergency message will come directly from the National Weather Service. There are many types of emergency weather radios to choose from - consult this handy guide from NWS La Crosse.
Today, an emergency weather radio send alerts for many different emergencies. In Rochester, you could receive an alert for a train accident with a chemical leak. Authorities can send messages to the weather radio to let you know if it is best to stay inside (and out of toxic air), or get out before things get worse. Non-weather emergency messages are important, and make the emergency weather radio a valuable tool.
Weather radios with lights and text display are available.
Outdoor Warning Sirens
Summer Siren Test Schedule Begins April 5
Siren Test Day is Wednesday morning in Rochester. Sirens are a way to alert you to go indoors and seek shelter. A siren system is used to alert people outdoors. Sirens are used to warn of tornados, or other life-threatening conditions. When you hear a siren, go indoors and tune to local news for more information.
Fall/Winter test schedule: Partial 1 minute test first Wednesday morning (October - March). Growl test on remaining Wednesday mornings at 10 am.
What is a growl test? Is the siren broken?
A "growl" test is performed 2nd, 4th, 5th Wednesdays throughout the summer months (April - September). A growl test momentarily starts the siren, and quickly shuts down. It might seem like the siren is broken, but it's just a growl test.
Siren system test is every Wednesday morning at 10 am. Testing the system allows us to make sure sirens will work when needed.
Summer test schedule: Full 3 minute test first & third Wednesday mornings (April - September) at 10 am.
From April through September, a full 3 minute siren test will be heard the first & third Wednesday mornings, weather permitting. This is a routine test to ensure the sirens operate when needed. On the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Wednesdays, a quick "growl" test happens. Questions? Contact City of Rochester Emergency Management Director.