Activation of the System

The Weather Alert Warning System will be activated for the City of Niles and for Milton Township when the Niles Dispatch Center receives any of the following:

  • National Weather Service Tornado Warning for the Niles to Edwardsburg corridor;
  • Rotation activity reported by a reputable local weather news source;
  • Report from a trained Weather Spotter of tornadic activity approaching the area;
  • Report of tornadic activity from a member of law enforcement, fire or EMS service;
  • Official request from an Emergency Management official for Berrien or Cass County.

Testing of System

The Weather Alert Warning System shall be tested regularly, at 1:00 pm on the first Saturday and the third Wednesday of each month - March thru November, inclusive.  There may also be scheduled tests for individual municipalities on an as-needed basis.

Testing of System

Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week is  from April 10-16. The Berrien County Sheriff’s, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is encouraging residents and visitors to prepare themselves for potential severe weather. One preparedness activity they can participate in is a voluntary statewide tornado drill at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 13.  The City of Niles and Milton Township will take part in the Michigan Statewide Tornado Drill.

“Tornadoes can develop very quickly; potentially with little or no warning,” said Capt. Rockey Adams, Berrien County Coordinator of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “Due to their unpredictable nature, we must be ready well in advance. We’re asking citizens and businesses to take a few extra steps during the week to ensure they’re prepared and safe.” “This is a great time to practice or discuss severe weather plans you have created for your family; or the plans that are in place at your work, school, or other places you frequently visit.”

Specific sirens in Berrien County are designed to be part of the early warning system for use in the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency. The testing schedule for these sirens are on a regular schedule that is set many years in advance. For this reason, these sirens will not be sounded for this tornado drill. Residents and businesses participating in the statewide tornado drill will hear alerts on NOAA Weather Radios and view alerts on participating TV and radio stations.

Milton Township has been steadily increasing their coverage levels in the township with a new weather alert siren slated for installation in 2016 at the intersection of Ironwood and Bertrand.  Milton Township Supervisor Robert Benjamin stated, “These dangerous storms can occur quickly without warning, as was evident in Edwardsburg a few weeks ago.  Residents are also encouraged to utilize weather alert radios as well as smart phone technology to compliment exterior warning sirens.” The City of Niles and Milton Township through their joint partnership, test their exterior weather alert sirens twice monthly on the First Saturday and Third Wednesday at 1:00pm EST March through November.

Refurbishing Sirens

Please view our "Siren Upgrade Slideshow" available from the Fire Department Menu near the top of this page.