Sidney Fire Protection District

Sidney ESDA Info

The village of Sidney has an effective Outdoor Warning System, comprised of two warning sirens. Our sirens are strategically placed throughout the village. The sirens are not hard to identify.
They are 5 feet tall, mounted on 60 foot wooden poles and are located next to the Sidney water tower and on South Scarborough Street.

This system is a supplemental warning system, designed to warn those who are outside, or who are in close proximity to a siren. As a supplemental warning system, it may not always be audible inside homes, buildings with a high ambient noise level (such as offices or grain elevators), or when you are sleeping.
As a primary means of warning, Weather Alert Radio Receivers are strongly encouraged for every home and business. They are available from a variety of retailers, and typically cost between $30 and $80. These receivers sit silently until the National Weather Service issues a warning; at which time they give out a loud alarm sound, followed by the specific warning message. The Weather Alert Radios can easily be configured to warn the hearing and visually impaired.
Another great way of receiving weather warnings and watches is to use the internet and cell phones.
This link below is part of the ‘MystateUSA’ emergency texting service and will allow you to be alerted to many weather related alerts:


It is imperative that you remain aware of the potential for severe weather, especially during the spring and fall storm seasons. By remaining alert, you can anticipate severe weather, and possible watches or warnings. If the potential for severe weather exists, be prepared. Monitor your Weather Radio, favorite weather web page (Like NWS Lincoln or a local radio/television station for updates.


What do I do when I hear the warning sirens?

Remain calm, go inside and seek shelter immediately; turn on your radio, web page, television, or listen to your Weather Alert Radio.

Note: In this area WXJ-76 162.550 MHz is the designated Emergency Alert System (EAS) station. Most other radio and television stations will also broadcast information regarding emergencies. Those with cable TV may turn to the Weather Channel or other local stations, for official information from the Lincoln Warning Center.

Listen carefully to the instructions.

Take whatever action is necessary to protect yourself and your family. Unless told otherwise, stay indoors until the emergency has ended.

And most importantly...

Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 for information unless you are reporting a life-threatening situation or hazardous condition.


To ensure all systems are operating normally, Sidney ESDA runs an audible test of the Outdoor Warning System on the first Tuesday of each month, at 10am. These tests will be conducted only if no emergency or threatening weather exists at the time.

In Sidney, residents can experience a variety of emergencies, including the effects of tornadoes, civil defense and hazardous materials accidents. The Warning System would be used in the event the public needed to be notified of these situations.


What else can I do to be prepared?
A little advanced planning will help you be ready, should an emergency occur.

  • Prearrange a safe meeting place inside your home. You will want to find an interior room on the ground floor or basement, with no windows or exterior doors.
  • Keep blankets, water, non-perishable food, flashlight, and personal hygiene items readily accessible.
  • Have your driver’s license, checkbook, credit cards and cash ready.
  • Make sure your car has at least a half tank of gas at all times.
  • If you have one, keep your cellular telephone fully charged and ready to use.

Most emergencies are short-lived, but having made some simple advance plans will help ensure your safety.


How does the system operate?
The Outdoor Warning System is operated by remote control, either from the village Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the village building or from phone activation using a secure code, both systems send a secure digital message to each siren, telling the siren(s) how to operate. Once the siren receives this message, a motor turns the siren, broadcasting the warning sound in all directions.
The Village of Sidney’s policy and criteria for activation of the Emergency Outdoor Warning System (OWS) is as follows:

1. Tornado Warnings from the National Weather Service, showing Sidney in the path; or

2. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings from the National Weather Service with forecast winds over 73 mph; or Hail greater than 1 inch or

3. Trained storm spotters see a weather related threat heading towards Sidney or

4. Hazardous materials railroad accident requiring notification.


This policy was developed in coordination with the National Weather Service (NWS) several years ago and is generally consistent with criteria used in surrounding cities and villages in Champaign County.