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San Francisco’s “Tuesday Noon Siren” Tests are Loudest in Chinatown

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

You can set your watch every Tuesday at 12:00 PM in the City and County of San Francisco if you can hear the Tuesday Noon Siren Test.

In some other places it’s a little hard to notice, but these horns above Kearny and Washington must be the loudest in all Christendom.

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If this had been an actual emergency, a voice would have told you what’s up. Or, generally speaking, you might want to just hustle inside as soon as you figure out it’s not a test this time.

Read all about it:

The Tuesday Noon Siren

Every Tuesday at noon, San Francisco tests the Outdoor Warning System. During the test the siren emits a 15 second alert tone. In an actual emergency, the siren tone will cycle repeatedly for 5 minutes. Should you hear the sirens at any time other than Tuesday at noon, go indoors and immediately tune to a news source such as KCBS 740 AM, or other local media stations.

Learn more about the siren system at, the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services & Homeland Security’s new website. Here you’ll find information on how to respond to specific types of emergencies, such as an Earthquake or a Tsunami, and easy steps to help you develop your own emergency plan.

In a major disaster it might be 3 days before vital services are restored.
When you hear the Tuesday Noon Siren, it’s your weekly reminder to make an emergency plan, build an emergency supply kit and be prepared to be self sufficient for 72 hours.