What is that sound?

Tornado sirens sounded twice in July, warning residents of Mora and Ogilvie of severe weather in the area. Many also received alerts or automated calls on cell phones, bringing up questions like when does the tornado siren sound, and how can I get cell phone alerts, too?


The city of Mora has three tornado sirens throughout the city. The city of Ogilvie has one. The cities are responsible for their placement and maintenance, but it is the Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office that sends a signal to active them. 

The sirens are tested monthly at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. 

If there is a tornado warning in the area, which means cloud rotation or an actual tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar, the National Weather Service relays warning information to the Sheriff’s Office, which activates the sirens. 

Code RED Phone alerts

The Sheriff’s Office has another way to alert residents of bad weather with the CodeRED alert system.

CodeRED is the free community notification system available to Kanabec County residents that will send alerts concerning time-sensitive and/or emergency information that may impact your area via phone calls, text messages, emails and social media.

Emergency information sent could regard events such as:

•missing persons

•evacuation notices

•natural disasters

•boil water advisories

•inclement weather warnings

•criminal activities

•road closures/traffic alerts

•shelter in place/lockdowns

Kanabec County Emergency Management Director Jeff Anderson said after recent tornado warnings, the Sheriff’s Office received a wave of inquiries about how to sign up for CodeRED alerts. 

He encouraged people to learn more and register at:

The National Weather Service also sends Wireless Emergency Alerts to cell towers in the path of a serious storm. 

Anyone that has a cell phone affiliated with that tower will receive an alert on their phone unless for some reason they have gone in and disabled the emergency alert feature. 

This is automatic and is separate from CodeRED; No sign up is needed to receive the these alerts on WEA-capable phones.

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