Warning Sirens

The City's outdoor emergency warning siren system has 14 sirens that alert community members who are outdoors to seek safety and seek further information from the City and/or the National Weather Service. The main purpose of the warning sirens is to serve as a warning to individuals that are outdoors. Please note that the sirens are not intended to be heard while indoors. If you hear the sirens, please tune to cable channel 10 (Time Warner/Spectrum), cable channel 16 (Grande), or the city's radio station, KZOS, at 103.1 FM for further information.


The Warning Siren System will be activated when:
  • Deemed necessary by the San Marcos Office of Emergency Management (i.e. in the event of any emergency when officials need to get citizens to move indoors for their safety)
  • Hail of 1.25 inches (size of a half dollar) in diameter is imminent
  • The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning or Severe Thunderstorm Warning for San Marcos with destructive winds at or above 70 mph
  • Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado with the potential to affect the City of San Marcos

During an Emergency

In the event of a Tornado Warning residents will hear a 3 to 5 minute steady signal of the sirens. When you hear the sirens during bad weather, go indoors and seek shelter in the most interior room in your home or office. You should avoid the outside walls and windows. An interior bathroom, closet, or other room is generally the safest location. If you have access to a radio or television, turn to a local channel (listed above) to listen for essential emergency information. All local channels will interrupt programming to issue Tornado Warnings and advise you where the tornado is located. Please do not call local fire or police agencies to inquiring about the sirens sounding unless immediate assistance is needed.