Severe Weather Safety

Outdoor Warning Sirens
The City of Eden Prairie has 11 outdoor warning sirens to alert residents in the event of emergency. They are generally located in areas with high outdoor activity, including parks and schools.

Warning sirens are tested at 1 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month during severe weather season.

The sirens are often activated based on information from the National Weather Service. The sirens may be activated if wind speeds approaching 75 mph are recorded or if a funnel cloud is spotted. It is possible that residents may not hear the sirens while inside their homes. Residents are urged to monitor television and radio reports during severe weather situations.

In Minnesota, severe weather can occur at any time and it is important be alert to changing weather conditions. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are most likely to occur in the late afternoon or early evening hours, from March through October. Residents are urged to have an emergency supply kit and a communications plan in advance of weather emergencies:

Watches and Warnings

Tornado Safety

Flood Safety

Tornado and Severe Weather Watches and Warnings
The National Weather Service issues Tornado and Severe Weather Watches and Warnings:

  • A Watch is issued when conditions are present for a tornado or storm to develop. People are advised to continue normal routines but be alert for changing weather conditions, tune into commercial radio or television stations for updates.
  • A Warning is issued when a funnel cloud has been spotted in the area, or winds approaching 75 mph have been recorded. People are advised to seek shelter immediately and stay there until the storm passes.

Tornado Safety
Have a good source of weather information. Consider NOAA Weather Radio. If a tornado or funnel cloud is spotted, or a warning is issued for your county, take action to protect yourself.

If you are at home:

  • The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
  • Stay away from windows. Do not try to open or close windows.
  • Stay away from outside doors and garages.
  • Move to a basement and get under something sturdy.
  • If you have no basement, move to the lowest level and get in an interior room, like a bathroom or closet.
  • Put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.

If you are at work:

  • Move to a basement or interior hallway on the lowest level.
  • Leave large span rooms.

If you are outdoors:

  • If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.
  • If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter, immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket, if possible.
  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.

Flood Safety
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard:

  • Flood/Flash Flood Watch – Flooding or flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
  • Flood/Flash Flood Warning – Flooding or flash flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, seek higher ground immediately.

During a Flood: Know What to Do

  • Listen – Tune in to local radio or television stations for information from officials.
  • Be Aware – Flash flooding typically occurs around streams, drainage channels, river valleys and other areas prone to flooding and flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.

During a Flood: Know What Not to Do

  • Do not walk through moving water – Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk through water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas – If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.