Frequently Asked Questions

A. We test our outdoor warning sirens on the first Monday of each month from April to August to ensure that the system is operational during our greatest threat period for flash flooding (we also use this system for tornado, severe weather and wildfire notifications). Testing ensures our emergency dispatch center staff maintains their practical knowledge and ability to operate the system quickly during an emergency. We also use siren testing as community education and a reminder that we are now in high hazard season.

A. Depending on how close you are to an outdoor warning siren, they can be very loud compared to residents who live further away. During testing, the siren must rotate in all four directions to complete a test cycle (which determines the amount of time the test lasts). Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution for siren placement, as warnings may be very loud for some residents while quiet or inaudible for others.

A. Nuclear fallout (or bomb) shelters and related preparedness programs of the Civil Defense era are slightly outdated from current emergency management initiatives. Though we are not 100% immune to a nuclear incident, improvements in areas like construction standards, public warning capability, transportation assets, and early detection have minimized the need for heightened preparedness efforts that were common during the Cold War era.

A. Yes, you can! You can click on the “Emergency Message Sign-Up” link on the Boulder OEM homepage (or click here). You will need to create an account in order to set up your personal alert preferences.

A. To remove your name and contact information from the emergency notification list, go to this link to log into your account and delete it from our database.

For any additional questions or assistance regarding emergency notifications, please contact the following:

If you live in the City of Boulder:

If you live in the City of Longmont:

If you live anywhere else in Boulder County (outside of the cities of Boulder and Longmont):

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A. If you have a life-threatening emergency, always call 911! If you are experiencing disruptions or have issues relating to utilities, please contact your respective municipal public works office or utilities provider.