Understanding the Siren System and Weather Warnings
Unsettled weather patterns carry with them a unique set of warnings and watches. In Oil City, an emergency siren mounted on the roof of City Hall is used to alert local residents of an impending weather issue. The siren system is activated for specific hazards that could seriously affect city residents. Different types of emergencies prompt different siren tones.
The siren tone identified as "alert" (a steady tone) will sound for 90 seconds, followed by an approximate two-minute pause, and then another 90-second "alert" siren.
The siren tone identified as "wail" (an up and down traditional siren tone) will be used to warn the public of life-threatening flooding in the Oil Creek Valley or the Allegheny River Valley near the business district. The siren tone will last for 90 seconds, followed by an approximate two-minute pause, and then another 90-second "wail" siren.
When the threat has lifted, a slow-rising siren tone lasting approximately 15 seconds will be activated.
A watch is issued when storm meteorologists at the National Weather Service determine that severe thunderstorms or tornadoes are possible. These watches are generally issued for large areas, such as all of western Pennsylvania. A watch means to continue normal activities but to keep an eye on the sky.
A warning is issued when severe weather or tornadoes are actually occurring. Warnings are generally issued for very small areas, such as a single county or groups of two or three counties. When a warning is issued, people should take cover immediately if they are in the path of the storm.
Tornado conditions have been observed or are imminent based upon radar information.
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
There are storms producing straight-line winds of 57 mph or greater, hail of one-inch diameter or greater, and/or conditions capable of producing a tornado.
Flash Flood Warnings
Streams, creeks, or urban waterways are flooding or will be very soon.
Have a home escape plan. Discuss with your family exactly how you will get out if there is a fire in your home. Always have TWO ways out. Once you're out, STAY OUT. Have a meeting place that your whole family knows. When we arrive, our first and most important priority is your safety and then your belongings. NEVER go back into a fire for ANYTHING.
Have working smoke detectors. It's simple: Smoke detectors save lives. A fire can occur at any time. A lot of people still don't understand that when you go to sleep, all your senses are asleep. Many fire victims are found in bed, overcome by smoke long before the fire reaches them. A working smoke detector on every floor and in every bedroom increases your chances of survival exponentially. Remember to check your smoke detector regularly and replace the batteries per the manufacturer's recommendation. Most smoke detectors have a 10-year life, so if you can't remember when you put them in, they probably need to be replaced.
Sleep with your door closed. Again, smoke is the killer in a fire. It's silent and deadly. A closed door is your line of defense from the dangers of smoke and fire. The fire service has learned through numerous studies the importance of hindering air movement in a fire building. Simply put, fire follows the path of least resistance. An open door gives the fire and smoke a place to go. A simple closed door increases survival times if you are trapped. PARENTS: CLOSE YOUR KID'S DOOR. We know it's hard. Our children are the most important things in our lives, and we know you want to keep them safe and be able to "hear them."
The safest thing you can do for them is close their door while they're sleeping.
The Oil City Fire Department offers training in first aid, CPR, and STOP THE BLEED. Contact us for more information.
Health and Wellness Resources
Sudden cardiac arrest causes brain death in minutes. The best chance a person in cardiac arrest has to survive is when bystanders get involved. Learn how with this quick link and contact the Oil City Fire Department to schedule your CPR class today.
A stroke is a true, time sensitive emergency. Minutes matter. Every second wasted means brain cells dying. Stroke care is evolving every day. Doctors can do things today that they couldn't do even 5 years ago. This is all dependent on people recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke and CALLING 911 IMMEDIATELY. Learn how to help here:
In the case of an injury with severe bleeding, a person has minutes before blood loss becomes fatal. This means bystanders have to be the responder. Learn what to do in these emergencies with this link and contact the Oil City Fire Department to schedule your Stop the Bleed class today. It's free and it can SAVE A LIFE.