Fort Worth Ready to Sound Sirens if Severe Weather Hits

Local emergency managers are concerned about the timing of Tuesday morning's severe weather.

The concern is because most people will be sleeping and the outdoor warning sirens that could sound may not wake you up.

Wet weather obscured the downtown skyline Monday afternoon as severe weather lingered to the west. Fort Worth's Emergency Operations Center is already keeping an eye on the radar and will through the overnight hours, which are of great concern.

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"The worst of it is probably going to happen after midnight, midnight to 8 a.m.," said Juan Ortiz, the city's emergency operations manager. "It may catch people while they're still asleep."

The city's outdoor warning system has two sirens that are down but is otherwise working fine despite hiccups during a test this summer.

"That's why we test on a weekly basis to make sure everything is up and running," Ortiz said.

If severe weather does hit, those sirens will be activated but you may not hear them.

"It may not wake you up in the middle of the night," Ortiz said.

The sirens are designed to get people who are outside during an event to go indoors for more information. And with most everyone inside sleeping Tuesday morning, Ortiz said its important that your cell phone receive weather alerts or that you have a NOAA weather radio on standby.

"You cannot rely on just one tool," Ortiz said.

The city urges residents to sign up for text alerts on Nixle, which was used two weeks ago when a small tornado hit an office building along Interstate 35W.

Having to issue more alerts is something Ortiz said his staff will be ready to do on Tuesday.

"Ready to send out those alerts and notifications," he said.

Emergency managers said they're in constant contact with the National Weather Service.

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