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News Review
Severe Weather Safety Information
Posted Date: 5/21/2013 3:15 PM

With recent events, and a current severe weather threat in our area, the City of Richardson would like to remind residents of safety precautions that can be taken in the event of severe weather.

In the event of a tornado (link to tornado safety website), the best steps to take are:

  • Go to the lowest possible level of a building or structure (Ex: First floor, basement, storm cellar).
  • Go to an interior room with no windows, such as a closet or bathroom.
  • Get underneath sturdy piece of furniture and cover neck and head.
  • Avoid places / rooms with wide-span roofs (cafeterias, gymnasiums, shopping malls).
  • Mobile homes are not safe shelters; you should make plans before the storm arrives to get to a pre-planned shelter.
  • Apartment dwellers should have a plan in place to get to an apartment on the lowest level of the complex. Contact your Leasing Office.
  • Do not attempt to outrun a tornado in your automobile; seek shelter inside a nearby building. Be sure not to choose a large box store with a wide-span roof.
  • If stranded outside lie down in a ditch or low lying area away from the vehicle, but remain aware of possible flash flooding.
  • Do not seek shelter underneath a bridge or overpass.

If you are in a public facility, then please follow instructions of the staff located in the building.

The City of Richardson operates 21 outdoor warning sirens within the Richardson city limits. The Warning System will be activated when:

  • The National Weather Service issues a Richardson area Tornado Warning or Severe Thunderstorm Warning with destructive winds at or above 70 mph
  • Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado with the potential to affect the City of Richardson
  • Hail of 1.25 inches (half dollar sized) in diameter is imminent
  • Deemed necessary by City of Richardson officials (i.e. in the event of any emergency when officials need to get citizens to move indoors for their safety)

Tests of the Outdoor Warning System are scheduled at noon the first Wednesday of each month. What to do if you hear the sirens when a test is not scheduled:

  • Seek shelter indoors and turn on local media (local broadcast channels, radio).
  • Follow directions from local officials including information provided by the National Weather Service.
  • Only call 911 in case of an actual emergency or when no information is being broadcast.

You may not be able to hear the sirens indoors or during an actual event due to high winds and weather conditions. Purchase a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology to provide dependable indoor warning information to your family.

Click here for frequently asked questions about the Outdoor Warning Sirens.