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Warning Signals

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Public Warning Signals

Used by various communities to get citizens’ attention in time of threatened or impending natural disaster, such as tornado or other emergency situation. The signal is a steady siren blast for three to five minutes. Warnings of natural disaster, which affect Evanston, are also transmitted over radio and local and cable television.

Public Warning “Take Cover” Signal

In the event of an enemy attack upon the United States, Evanston citizens will be alerted by this signal: a three-minute wavering or intermittent siren blast.

Siren Tests

sirenSirens can also be heard during a test of the Outdoor Warning Systems on the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. They consist of one minute “alert” signal (continuous siren blast), one minute of silence and one minute of “take cover” signal (wavering siren).

All warning broadcasts mean an emergency situation is imminent. In this eventuality, take a portable radio and seek pre-designated shelter. All watches indicate elements are developing that may result in an emergency situation. Radio broadcasts are the best method to keep abreast of such a situation.

Do not use the telephone when a siren is sounding. Do not use the telephone to obtain further information or advice about the emergency. Depend on radio and television for information; government agencies will broadcast all available information.

Snow Alerts

snow parking bans 200px-thumb-75x75-15061The City of Evanston sounds its sirens in the event of a declared snow alert. Evanston sirens sound 15 minutes after certain hours for:

  • Snow Emergencies: 7:15 a.m. & 12:15 p.m. on days of even/odd side street parking bans
  • Snow Parking Bans: 8:15 p.m. for main thoroughfare parking bans

The Village of Skokie sounds their sirens on the hour for various snow parking bans. Please keep this in mind as many Evanston neighborhoods can hear Skokie's sirens.

More about snow parking bans at