Aurora Upgrades Emergency Warning Radio, Sirens

Aurora Upgrades Emergency Warning Radio, Sirens

The city of Aurora has taken major steps to improve and expand its emergency warning system to cover the entire community.

On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission approved a waiver request from the Aurora Emergency Management Agency to increase the transmission range of its Emergency Radio Station 1650 AM.

The EMA radio transmitter, located at Solfisburg Park, in the past has operated using 1 watt of power, based on FCC regulations. But that 1 watt of power was only enough to allow the station to be heard for about a one- to two-mile range. The FCC waiver allows the radio station now to operate at 10 watts of power and be heard throughout the entire City of Aurora.

In 2015, the Aurora EMA began researching solutions to increase coverage for the emergency radio station. Although it took about a year for the FCC to grant the waiver, Aurora EMA Coordinator Joseph Jones said it was worth the wait.

A new siren on Middle Avenue helps ensure residents can hear severe weather warnings while outdoors. (CREDIT: city of Aurora)

“The FCC waiver approval to increase coverage to the entire city makes the 1650 AM Emergency Radio Station another valuable tool for the city to communicate with its citizens during times of emergency,” Jones said.

The Aurora Emergency Radio Station broadcasts emergency preparedness information and National Weather Service watches and warnings at 1650 AM. Traffic information can be transmitted when necessary along with other emergency messaging.

Warning Sirens Expanded

The city also has completed a major expansion in the number of outdoor warning sirens around the community. Siren upgrades have been completed at

Fire Station 12, at 2424 Hafenrichter Road, and at 1901 Bilter Road, next to City Well 20. And new sirens have been installed at 339 Middle Avenue and 3025 Heggs Road. There now is a total of 20 outdoor warning sirens in operation throughout the city.

Jones cautioned that outdoor warning sirens are only meant to be heard while outside — and not inside homes and business. Jones said the best method to receive warnings when inside is to purchase an NOAA weather radio, turn to the city’s Emergency Radio Station 1650 AM, monitor radio and television, or enable emergency alerts on your smartphone.

Sign up for Aurora Alert

Aurorans also are advised to sign up for the city’s new resident notification system, Aurora Alert. Aurora Alert provides information about emergencies, traffic updates and community news through text, email, TTYD devices, and calls to cell, home, or work phones.

To register, residents should complete a customized Aurora Alert account by visiting and clicking on the Aurora Alert banner at the top or to the right. The customer profiles are customized based on address, which allows for alerts to be distributed to specific areas. Or click here to sign up now.

Residents can sign up for cell phone alerts simply by texting AURORAIL to 888777 to receive abbreviated text alerts only.  For more detailed information, visit

SOURCE: city of Aurora news release

Aurora Alert: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Aurora Alert?

This service allows you to opt-in to receive notifications via phone calls, text messaging, e-mail and more based on locations you care about. You can choose to receive notifications about events that may affect your home, workplace, family’s schools and more.

When will it be used?

This system will be used to notify you about imminent threats to health and safety as well as informational notifications that affect your locations or work environments. Administrators will send notifications regarding severe weather, flooding, gas leaks, police activity and more.

Will I still get emergency notifications if I don’t sign up?

If you don’t create a username and password, you will receive notifications only by the methods that are on file for your Organization.

What if my phone number or email address changes?

The system is only as good as the information you provide. If your contact information changes, you can always visit your profile and update your information.

Will my contact information be shared with others?

No. The information that you provide will be used only for this Organization for notification purposes. We will not give or sell your contact or location information to any vendor or other organization.

SOURCE: Aurora Alert, city of Aurora