Warning Sirens & Sheltering in Place

Please note: listen to a recording of a City alert tone (MP3) that would warn residents to shelter in place, and view a list of area industries and municipalities (PDF), along with an accompanying schedule of alarm test dates and times.

Grey warning siren on a red background

When Sirens Sound

  • A community-wide emergency alert occurs during:
    • A major hazardous materials (HAZMAT) incident
    • Any major traffic interruption that affects the city at large or the greater metro area over an extended period of time, such as bridge collapse might
    • Hazardous weather events like a tornado or flash flooding conditions

Chemical Release or Other Hazardous Materials Incident

In the event of a chemical release or other hazardous materials incident where public health could be affected, emergency dispatchers sound the 15 sirens that are located throughout Pasadena, specifically along major traffic routes and thoroughfares to indicate that a shelter in place order is in effect. Although the City does test the sirens on one Thursday evening each month, emergency officials say it is always better to err on the side of caution, and of safety, when you hear a siren.

Sheltering In Place

Sheltering at Home

When a shelter in place is issued, immediately go inside your home and remain there until an all-clear is issued. If possible, choose a small, interior room, with no or few windows in which to wait. Close all doors and windows and, to create a tighter seal, lock them as well. If a chemical release is involved, turn off any central air-conditioning or heating.

Sheltering at Work or a Business Location

Anyone at work or at a business location should follow similar steps. Businesses should close their doors and turn off the air-conditioning or heating. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment, like ventilation blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the outdoors. If you are a customer, client or visitor in the building when a shelter in place is issued, you should stay there until the all-clear is sounded, in order to avoid driving or walking outdoors.

Getting Updates About the Incident

During the incident, try to minimize phone usage as much as possible. Do not call 911 unless there is an emergency at your location, and do not go outdoors to get more information. 

Instead, to get updates on the situation, residents should check KTRH AM 740, the official emergency radio news source for Pasadena. 

City resources, like the City website, Nixle text messages to your cell phone if you are a free subscriber, Facebook or Pasadena Channel, will also be posting information as soon as it becomes available, along with local radio and TV stations.