The key is to remember when a warning is issued it means severe weather his happening right now.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted...or has been indicated by Doppler radar. The vortex signature on the radar is often called a hook echo. It shows rotation in the storm that looks like a tornado.
The tornado siren on the top of the page shows modern-day design. The tornado sirens are built for outdoor use. It can be heard inside...but is intended to warn those who are outside during a tornado warning.
In the last few years...the NWS has started using the tornado siren for extreme wind events. The sirens will sound when there are wind speeds over 70 mph. It is not a completely uniform procedure. Some cities are not sounding the sirens with the high wind warnings. In the metro of Des Moines...you will hear the sirens with the high-wind events.
There is also a picture of the NOAA weather radio we sell through Fareway Stores and the Ah-Ha store at the Science Center of Iowa. This radio is perfect for the home and for personal use in the car and during outdoor activities. It has a battery and AC hook-up for the house and office. It makes it completely portable.
Here is where you can find the codes to make sure your radio sounds in the area where you live.
www.weather.gov/nwr/CntyCov/nwrIA.htm Always watch 13 HD and Iowa's Weather Plus for the most complete coverage of severe weather. You will see the severe weather crawls and when necessary...wall-to-wall coverage of severe weather in our viewing area. More storm warning information is available here: www.crh.noaa.gov/images/dmx/SWAW%20PNS/2011-Warning.pdf