The City of Red Wing has over 20 outdoor warning sirens placed in the City. These Sirens work in conjunction with sirens in Goodhue County for a total of about 106 warning sirens. These sirens are all battery operated, continually recharging from the grid so that a power failure does not disable our ability to warn the public. The primary reason for the great number is due to the proximity of the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant and Federal requirements for public notification. All sirens were paid for and are maintained by a subcontractor through XCEL Energy. Placement of the sirens was developed through FEMA and sound propagation software to ensure complete coverage of both the City and County.
Sirens are tested every Wednesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. reporting software us used to determine functionality or detect failure on each siren. The Office of Emergency Management receives a monthly report from the Xcel Energy and individual email reports if a siren does fail. On the first Wednesday of the month sirens are fully sounded. On the other Wednesdays a growl test is conducted which will sound like a very short activation. This is to ensure complete functionality at all times. Siren heads rotate so you may hear a slight rising and falling tone as they rotate toward then away from where you are. This is normal.
There is no difference in soundings for weather related as opposed to other emergencies. Sounding will generally be for a three minute period which should direct you to tune to the local radio stations, KCUE 1230 AM or KWNG 105.9 FM for information. In weather related events we DO NOT sound an all clear. If you hear the siren again it indicates an additional weather related event and to take or remain under cover.
To lessen the impact on voice traffic, Dispatch sounds all sirens for weather related events in Goodhue County, so a tornado warning in Kenyon could be accompanied by clear skies in Red Wing. In addition to the Siren System Goodhue County Dispatch will utilize the “Code Red” mass notification system. You will receive a text and voice mail message with information and instructions related to the weather or manmade hazard being experience if you are enrolled in the system. To Enroll in Code Red go on to the Goodhue County website or contact Goodhue County Emergency Management by phone at 651-267-2614.