AURORA, Colo. -- Cities across the Denver area are making sure their tornado sirens are working properly.
"We tested them in March, the second week of March, second Tuesday of March," said Matt Chapman.
Chapman is with the Emergency Management Office for Aurora. Testing sirens is not required by law, Chapman said. All the sirens passed in recent tests. Aurora has 56 sirens scattered throughout the city. One thing that's different in Aurora is the all clear siren. That's the alarm that goes off after the storm passes.
"That's a fairly recent change," Chapman said.
The city changed that last year, because people were getting confused.
"If you hear the sirens, it's based typically on the National Weather Service and first responder information that they're seeing something come in," said Chapman. "If we set them off, we've perceived public threat and people should take it serious."
Be prepared for severe weather when it strikes. Follow these tips provided by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Identify a safe shelter location – a basement is best, followed by interior rooms on the lowest level of the building away from windows. Mobile homes are often unsafe in a tornado – identify a neighbor's house or public shelter where you can go if a tornado warning is issued.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage during a storm.
- Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
- Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio (link is external) to receive alerts about impending severe weather.
- Sign up for reverse telephone alerts (link is external) for your county, and don’t forget to include your cell phone.
- Make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage – including flood insurance, which is separate from your homeowners or renters policy.
- Photograph or take video footage of the contents in your home in case you need to file a claim after a disaster.
- Store copies of your important documents in another location, such as a bank safe deposit box.