Storm and Tornado Safety
Don't wait until storms arrive to prepare for severe weather! Here's how you can prepare to protect yourself, your family and your property.
STEP 1: Get Indoors
Allen Fire Department recommends purchasing a battery-powered NOAA all-hazards weather radio which activates when it receives a radio signal from the National Weather Service. These radios can be kept in your vehicle, in your home, or carried while camping or attending outdoor events to alert you to severe weather in your area.
To provide additional warning to people who are outdoors, Allen operates 26 outdoor warning sirens that sound during severe weather events. You may not hear them inside as air conditioning, thunder, wind, rain and other conditions can drown out the sound. Sirens are activated for:
- Hail greater than 1 inch in size
- Winds greater than 70 mph
- Tornado warnings from the National Weather Service naming Allen in the path
STEP 2: Find shelter
When a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter indoors immediately. Stay weather aware and be prepared to find shelter inside a designated safe space as thunderstorms can produce a tornado with little or no warning.
Tornado safe spaces
- Homes and small buildings: Go to an interior room on the lowest level, such as a closet or bathroom. Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Crawl under a sturdy surface, such as a heavy table or desk. Cover yourself with thick padding, such as blankets or a mattress. Use your arms to cover your head and neck to protect against flying debris.
- Schools, hospitals, factories and shopping centers: Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest level. Stay away from glass-enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head and neck. Centrally located stairwells are good shelter.
- Cars and mobile homes: Most storm-related deaths occur in cars and mobile homes. If you have advanced warning of impending storms, leave them and go to a substantial structure or shelter.
- No suitable structure: Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head. Be alert for flash floods!
STEP 3: Seek information
The best source for weather warnings is an NOAA all-hazards weather radio which activates when it receives a radio signal from the NWS. You can put the radio near your bed to wake you up if you’re asleep, and there’s adaptive technology available for people with vision or hearing impairments. View NOAA radio frequencies.
Backup options include:
- A smartphone app like the “Emergency” app from the American Red Cross
- Television news, AM-FM radio or an online news source
- Hyper-Reach alerts issued by the National Weather Service to subscribers in Allen. Depending on your cell carrier, texts and calls may experience a delay.
Emergency information for hearing and sight impaired populations
Northeast Texas Public Health District has created both video and written information on eighteen emergency preparedness topics to serve deaf, blind and limited sight populations. The information is available for public use, free of charge, on the Accessible Emergency Information website.
Helpful links for parents, teachers and individuals
The CodeRED and WeatherALERT systems give city officials the ability to deliver pre-recorded emergency telephone notification/information messages to targeted areas or the entire city at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour. Such systems are only as good as the telephone database supporting them. "If your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called". The CodeRED system gives individuals and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly to the system's telephone database. Individuals and businesses can link to the "CodeRED Residential and Business Data Collection" page by clicking this CodeRED Link. Those without Internet access may call The Celina Fire Department at (972) 382-2653, Monday through Friday, (8AM-5PM) to provide their information over the phone or to get answers for any questions. The required information includes first and last names, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number. Additional phone numbers are also an option.
No one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included. All businesses should register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the last year, and who use a cellular phone as their primary home phone.
"CodeRED system is a geographical based notification system, which means street addresses are needed to select which phone numbers will receive emergency notification calls in any given situation. The system works fine for cell phones too, but we have to have a street address". People who have recently moved but kept the same listed or unlisted phone number also need to change their address in the database.
"CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for doing so. The information will only be used for emergency notification purposes".
Outdoor Warning Sirens
The LAWS Outdoor Automatic All Hazards Mass Notification System has been installed at Old Celina Park and the Celina Historic Square. This state of the art system is automated, which means that citizens and visitors to Old Celina Park and the Square will not have to wait on Celina Emergency Management personnel to activate the warning device.
The device will automatically activate by a signal from the National Weather Service when severe storms are approaching. This device can also be manually activated if needed. This system's primary notification zone is intended for the Old Celina Park area only. We will be installing more of these systems around Celina as a part of the master emergency notification system plan.
Celina will have multiple layers of mass notification as the city grows. The new LAWS system is just one of the layers that the city uses for densely populated areas such as Old Celina Park. The new LAWS system will be tested the first Wednesday of every month to ensure system readiness.
Your Safety is our Profession.