The mission of Emergency Management is to build, sustain and improve our community’s capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to and recover from threatened or actual disasters, whether natural or man-made and acts of terrorism.  We accomplish this by working with our partner agencies and organizations. 

The City’s emergency readiness planning efforts focus on all hazards: weather-related disasters, terrorism, and disease outbreaks. Emergency preparedness requires strong partnerships with other local, state and federal agencies. While these partnerships are essential to ensuring that we have the resources we need to handle such an emergency, it is important to realize that all of us play a part in being prepared and vigilant. 

Prepare yourself and family for when disaster strikes.  Have emergency kits for both your home and vehicle, emergency contact information, emergency plans such as fire escape routes or what to do for a tornado, know at least 2 ways out of your neighborhood, work location, and other frequently visited places.  Save important documents in a portable media device with redundancies.  You can also store documents, photos, video tours of your house highlighting your possessions, pictures of serial numbers, and other important items in a secure "cloud" storage service, many of which are low to no cost. 

More information can be found at www.Ready.gov

How a Disaster Gets Declared

Weather Safety and Preparedness

References and Resources

  Outdoor Warning Sirens

Outdoor Warning Siren Graphic

Counties and cities own the sirens, and therefore decide how and when to activate them. The National Weather Service does not sound them.

Sirens are activated for: 

  • Monthly test (1st Wednesday of every month at 1 PM)
  • Tornado warnings
  • All severe thunderstorm warnings with winds in excess of 70 MPH
  • Sirens normally sound for about three minutes, and then go silent

There is no such thing as an "all-clear" siren

What to do when sirens are activated:

  • When sirens sound, they are to alert people outside of an impending severe weather event.
  • If you hear the sirens immediately stop what you are doing, go indoors and tune into your favorite radio or tv station for further details or seek shelter immediately.
  • To receive severe weather warnings indoors, Emergency Management and the National Weather Service recommend the purchase of a weather radio, which can be found on-line and can be purchased from local electronic stores. These radios can be programmed for your specific County and can sound for a variety of weather events.

The City of Saint Paul has completed its re-accreditation review and is compliant with all 66 Emergency Management industry standards. A list of all other jurisdictions accredited is here

Health Preparedness Topics

Last Edited: June 18, 2024