Outdoor Warning System

Outdoor warning sirenOlathe is protected by an outdoor warning system that has 40 state-of-the-art sirens, 13 of which are solar. The system - managed by the Olathe Fire Department - is not designed to warn people indoors. A NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio is the fastest and most reliable way to receive severe weather, watches, warnings and advisories and information about other community hazards.

This outdoor warning system is tested by Johnson County Emergency Management on the first Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. year round except during extreme cold, heavy icing or if the potential for severe weather exists. The City of Olathe will occasionally activate sirens at 11:15 a.m. (following the monthly test) to test alerting equipment. If the monthly test is cancelled, it will typically be postponed one week to the second Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. The test date for March is sometines altered to coincide with the statewide tornado drill during Severe Weather Awareness Week. On test day, volunteers across Olathe, manually monitor the system by listening and reporting their findings to the fire department. In addition, the system performs a daily self-check to further ensure operability. 

Residents may occasionally hear a siren or group of sirens being tested outside of the normal testing dates and times. This is usually preventative maintenance that needs to be completed to ensure the siren equipment is operational. View a historic record, from Johnson County Emergency Management, of when and why the outdoor warning system (sirens) haved sounded in the past. 

During a tornado warning, sirens will sound in three-minute durations in ten-minute intervals until the tornado warning expires. There is no “all-clear” siren.

During a tornado warning, remember:

  • Stay calm, take cover in your pre-determined safety spot.
  • Don't tie up phone lines by calling the National Weather Service, local emergency services, public officials or the news media.
  • There is no "all-clear" signal on the outdoor warning system. 
  • If possible, turn to local media for updates or instructions from public officials.

Call the Olathe Fire Department's Office of Emergency Management at (913) 971-7943 with questions or to report a possible siren malfunction.