How Do I? Homeland Security Division
Oakland County, MichiganHomeland SecurityHow Do I? Homeland Security Division

How Do I? Homeland Security Division

Answers to frequently asked questions of Oakland County Homeland Security Division.

What are shelters? 

How do I find temporary shelters?

Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross. In Southeast Michigan, call 1-800-774-6066 or visit

What do I do if I receive suspicious mail?


Where are hazardous materials sites located?

To identify hazardous materials facilities in your area contact your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) in Oakland County at 248-858-5371 or email to


Is there any financial assistance available for flood damage?

Probably not unless there is wide-spread damage. Federal flood insurance is only available if you live in a flood plain. Check with your homeowners insurance to find out if you are covered for flooding in your home due to sewer backup, plumbing problems, etc.


Where are emergency sirens located?

Municipalities, through a cost share program with Oakland County, purchase sirens and determine their locations. Many municipalities in Oakland County do not have full siren coverage, some have no sirens at all. To determine if there are sirens in your area, please call 248 858-1593.


How can I protect my family in an emergency?

Don't wait for a disaster to hit, be prepared. See Family Disaster PlanningSheltering In-Place, Chemicals in your Home and Chemical Emergencies

What do I do when a tornado strikes or when high winds cause damage?

Be sure the storm has passed before you leave your shelter and use extreme caution in all that you do.

Who do I call if I see a tornado?

Safety is your first priority. Take shelter immediately. If possible, call Oakland County Homeland Security Division at 248-858-5300 (24-hour). Identify yourself, give location and, if possible, direction of tornado. Do not call police, fire or the news media.

Who do I call if I see a suspicious activity involving hazardous materials?

Report suspicious activity to your local fire department.

How will I know if it's a test or a real tornado warning?

Oakland County tests its outdoor warning siren system on the first Saturday of the month at 1:00 p.m. See Siren Test Schedule for exceptions. The test will be cancelled if the potential exists for severe weather (for more information, see Early Weather Warning program). Therefore, if you hear the sirens, and its not the first Saturday of the month, take cover immediately.  If it is the first Saturday of the month and the sky looks threatening, take cover immediately.