Emergency Siren/Warning System

The Shelter-In-Place (SIP) tone siren is a Fast High-Low Wail. This tone might be confused with the fire siren if you aren’t aware of the faster cycling of the wail. In the event you hear the SIP tone, go inside immediately and close and lock all doors and windows. Turn off all ventilation. Tune a radio to KMTI (650 AM) for instructions on what to do.

Shelter-In-Place (SIP)

There are several reasons you may receive a request to Shelter-in-Place:
  1. You may be notified to SIP if there is a weather related condition coming toward your community, such as a tornado or severe hail storm, etc.
  2. You may also be asked to SIP in the event of a criminal in your area, one that is armed and dangerous and a threat to the community.
  3. You may be asked to SIP for a hazardous materials toxic plume. If this is the case, you will need to have a “SIP kit” which can be used immediately to seal one small room (safe room) in your home, apartment or college building for no more than 2 hours.

Safe Room

When choosing a “safe room” to shelter from a hazmat plume, you will want a room on the first or second floor with as few windows and doors as possible, (not a basement, since toxic fumes may settle there) like a small interior bathroom. In most cases shelter-in-place will be much less than 2 hours with the usual air flow in our area.

For your SIP kit you will need five or six mil plastic sheeting to cover each window, door and air vent of your “safe room.” Cut the plastic ahead of time, about 4 inches wider than the framing. Label each piece for quick application. You will also need duct tape to seal the plastic sheeting. Don’t leave folds or creases in the plastic as you put it up. Be sure to tape around all electrical outlets, and any plumbing pipes entering the room. Also, be sure to check inside cupboards for holes as well. Use fresh duct tape for a good seal. You will also want to have an Emergency radio, weather band radio, telephone or cell phone, some food and water and - if you have children or pets - anything that will help the time go by: books, games, a coloring book and crayons, etc. Don’t forget the diapers and formula.

If you have large dogs and/or many pets, you may want to shelter them in another room. You may not have time to seal the room as well as your own safe room. Remember, the air exchange rate is greater in a less insulated home, trailer and car. Do not try to SIP in a car!

*If you run a business and must SIP for a hazmat event, you may have patrons that will need to SIP with you. Be aware of this, since you may need more than one safe room. Plan accordingly!

*If you are at home or in your apartment, you may have company and must SIP with everyone for a hazmat plume. Be aware of this, you may need more than one safe room. Plan accordingly!

Ok to Leave

You will be notified by emergency responders, Public radio announcement (KMTI 650 AM) or the college’s emergency alert system (Send Word Now) when it is OK to leave the safe room. At that time, you will want to have one person leave and open up all windows and doors, and turn on ventilation to remove the possibly contaminated air inside your home, replenishing with fresh air from outside.


The Evacuation siren tone is a long, high, solid tone. This tone will start low and slowly build to a high tone, where it will stay solid. You will need to turn on your radio to KMTI (650 AM) or wait for the College’s Emergency Alert System (Send Word Now) for information relating to the evacuation process i.e. direction to exit your location. This tone will only be used if the community can safely evacuate from the hazard rather than Shelter-in-Place, or if it is more dangerous to stay. Such a threat might include a wildfire or a terrorist bomb attack, or flood. You will most likely be told the safest locations to evacuate to and the road to get there. You will need to make sure you follow those directions; those trying to take a “short cut” may send you through the danger zone and put yourself at risk.