According to the National Weather Service, "Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on earth. Each year, Americans cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, 1,000 tornadoes, and an average of 6 deadly hurricanes. Potentially deadly weather impacts every American. Some 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage."
As a cooperative venture between the National Weather Service and Oakland County Homeland Security Division, the Oakland County Early Weather Warning Program is designed to provide timely notification of severe weather conditions to persons and agencies. The goal of the program is to reduce personal injuries and property damage as a result of severe weather.
By using appropriate equipment and personnel, persons and agencies are immediately alerted of severe weather conditions by two major notifications systems:
Outdoor Warning Siren System
As an outdoor warning system, a steady three-minute siren tone means that a tornado warning is in effect (a tornado has been sighted or strongly indicated on radar) and/or a severe thunderstorm with damaging winds at 70 mph or greater are in the area.
As of October 2007, storm based warnings (only cities and towns affected by a particular storm threat will be included in the warning). This means that more than one Tornado Warning and/or Severe Thunderstorm Warning with damaging 70 mph winds or greater could be in effect for one county at the same time. If a Tornado Warning is issued or 70 mph winds or greater are in the area, all Oakland County sirens will activate. Seek shelter immediately and tune into local media for more detailed information and the location of the storm.
Tone Alert Receiver System
As an indoor warning system, detailed, updated and all-clear severe weather information is broadcasted to tone alert receivers.