Emergency Measures Planning
If you hear sirens, or are told to seek shelter:
Where to get more information and what to do

If you are told to evacuate:
Procedures, routes and checklists to follow.

Special Needs:
What to do if you have special needs that might complicate evacuation.

Notice to Farmers:
Special consideration for farms, food processors and distributors.

Evacuation routes and reception centers:
Maps and driving instructions for evacuation and temporary shelter.

Advance Planning:
5 steps to being prepared.

Explanations of the differences in the 4 levels of alert.

Facts about radiation:
The nature of contamination.


The early warning sirens are used to alert you of a serious nuclear accident, chemical spill, weather emergency, or other possible dangerous condition in Berrien County. The warning sirens will sound for three to five minutes.

In Berrien County, the sirens are tested on the first Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. The test consists of a short siren sound lasting less than a minute. At other times, you may hear sound-level tests also lasting less than a minute.

Many volunteer fire departments’ sirens may also sound for less than a minute, but usually the call is repeated. Don't act on rumor or suspicion. Tune to the tv and radio stations whenever you hear sirens.

All of the stations listed take part in the local News Media Notification System (which is similar to the national Emergency Broadcast System) and will broadcast emergency information. However, some stations could experience a few minutes delay in getting out emergency information due to computerized programming or limited broadcast scheduling. Check all listed stations until you find one broadcasting emergency information.

The sirens are controlled by the Berrien County Emergency Management Office. If you notice a siren has been damaged or is not working, please call them at 269-983-7141 at once to report it for your own protection.

  • Stay indoors until you are told it is safe to go out.
  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Turn off all air-intake systems like fans, air conditioning, or combustion heating and fireplace dampers.
  • Shelter pets and animals, if possible.
  • Tune to the TV and radio stations below for emergency instructions.
  • Don't go outside to see what's happening. If you must go outdoors briefly to warn someone during a nuclear emergency, cover your nose and mouth with a piece of cloth such as a towel or scarf.
  • Don't use the telephone unless there is a serious need.
  • Don't try to pick up children at school. School staffs will keep children in school until it is safe to go out again.
  • Don't worry if you are in a hospital or other special-care facility. You will be protected.
  • Don't panic! It's your worst enemy in an emergency.

Remember, for most emergencies, it's safer to stay indoors. That's because toxic fumes and gases usually pass in a short time in the direction the wind is blowing. And, during severe weather emergencies, buildings offer the best protection, especially basements. Stay out of your vehicle in a weather emergency.

If you hear a siren...

You will be told if the emergency in Berrien County is serious.


AM Radio

FM Radio

If you have questions or comments about anything in this part of the site, need more information about emergency planning, or want copies of the Emergency Planning Calendar, call or write either of the offices below.

Cook Energy Information Center
One Cook Place
Bridgman, Michigan 49106

Berrien County Emergency Management
Division of Berrien County Sheriff's Office
919 Port Street
St. Joseph, Michigan 49085
(269) 983-7141 Ext. 7215

This information was prepared by American Electric Power in cooperation with the Berrien County Emergency Management Office and the Emergency Management Division of the Michigan Department of State Police.