Ask the Free Press



I was surprised Wednesday that when the tornado sirens went off in Hillsboro they kept going and going and we didn’t hear an “all clear” siren when the situation was no longer dangerous. Has the system changed?


Yes, it has, according to the city office in Hillsboro. The city of Hillsboro identifies three different fire and storm warning signals. The signal for “take cover”-what we heard on Wednesday- is a slow up-and-down wail that continues until the danger is passed. The city has no “all clear” signal.

When the “take cover” siren sounds, residents are advised to take cover immediately. When the sirens have stopped, it is safe to assume the danger has passed. Designated safety shelters in Hillsboro are located in the HIllsboro Mennonite Brethren Church (102 S. Washington), Zion Lutheran Church (106 N. Lincoln), Trinity Mennonite Church (211 S. Elm), Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church (610 S. Main) and the Scout House located in Memorial Park. Tabor College has sites on campus designated for students.

While we’re on the topics of sirens, the city’s “test signal” is the 15-second sustained pitch siren that occurs every Monday at noon.

The city’s “fire signal” is a rapidly alternating high and low pitch that lasts about three minutes.

Do you have a question about Daily Life? Send it to the Free Press, 116 S. Main, Hillsboro, KS 67063; e-mail:

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