Outdoor warning sirens are only designed to be heard outside - they are not intended to penetrate inside residential and commercial structures. Warning sirens only have an audible footprint of one to two miles, meaning that you have to be within that distance (in any direction) of the siren in order to be able to hear it. Keeping that in mind, during the rain and hail that oftentimes accompanies many severe storms, it becomes even harder to hear a siren at a distance. Wind speed and direction also will affect that sound range.
Outdoor warning sirens exist for one purpose only – to alert people who are outdoors that something dangerous is happening, and that they should go inside. Once inside, people should use a radio or the television to get current and updated information.
Ultimately, while outdoor warning sirens can be instrumental in warning citizens who are outdoors about impending danger, residents who are already inside need to depend on other options to stay updated on impending danger.