Outdoor warning systems consist of 35 sirens placed strategically throughout the county as an early warning device to alert citizens to take shelter and seek additional information. While the outdoor warning system can be an effective method of notifying those outdoors, it is only one component of a comprehensive emergency warning system including the use of NOAA weather radios, the Emergency Alert System, and emergency notifications from local media. The outdoor warning system is set up to alert the public of a tornado warning. There are three basic criteria to activate the sirens for tornadoes:
- The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning for Eaton County,
- A county trained and certified weather spotter reports a tornado; or
- A tornado is reported by a local public safety official.
Eaton County Central Dispatch (ECCD) is responsible for coordinating the tests of the sirens and activating them when needed, the separate jurisdictions within the county own and maintain the sirens within their respective jurisdiction.