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City of Derby News Releases

Posted on: May 6, 2019

Prepare for Severe Weather Season


We have entered severe weather season and experienced a few rounds of severe weather in south central Kansas already. Did you know that in 2018 the outdoor warning sirens didn’t sound in Derby? In fact, throughout the State of Kansas, tornado sightings were down 50 percent last year.

Because some of us may be a little out of practice, it is important to have a plan for your family or business in the event severe weather occurs. Here are some tips and information regarding severe weather in Derby.

  • Prepare a severe weather preparedness kit. Include necessary items such as a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, drinking water for a few days and extra medications you might need. Store this kit where you take shelter during severe weather or in an easily accessible location.
  • Talk to your family about what to do if the sirens sound. If your kids are next door at the neighbors or at a park when the sirens sound, create a plan for what actions to take in case of bad weather. 
  • The City of Derby outdoor warning sirens are part of the Sedgwick County outdoor warning system. Derby tornado sirens used to sound when there was a tornado warning anywhere in Sedgwick County. Today, that system has changed so that the sirens only sound in the area of imminent tornado threat or tornado warning. Sedgwick County Emergency Management (SCEM) determines if Derby’s sirens need to be sounded based upon tornado warning path. If the sirens are sounded in Derby then know that either a funnel cloud has been sighted in our area or conditions are very likely to produce a tornado. When the sirens sound you should take cover immediately. As long as the outdoor sirens are sounding, stay in your shelter and don’t leave until they stop.
  • The City encourages residents to shelter in place if possible, but if that isn’t possible there are public storm shelters that will open during a tornado warning. Locations can be found on the City of Derby website at We are working with other neighborhood partners regarding storm shelters, so check the site regularly.
  • Fire Station 82 will always be available during a tornado warning. The Derby Middle School location and the three church locations are opened based upon volunteer availability.
  • If you have a pet, the shelters at Fire Station 82 or Derby Middle School are the only storm shelters that allow pets and have crates available.

    If you have questions about severe weather, connect with Derby Fire & Rescue by calling 788-4435 or emailing Fire Chief Brad Smith (, or connect with us on Facebook at @DerbyFireRescue.

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