Monthly tornado alarm tests are often conducted in areas where tornadoes are prone to frequent. Even though the tests follow a regular schedule, the sound of the alarm might still catch some people off guard.
For people who lived in tornado-prone areas, it would be important for them to know what the alarms are for and what they sound like.
Like fire alarm testing, people tend to go over what to do in a situation where a tornado might hit and exercise the cautions and evacuations that might be in place in case of a real tornado.
However, for a pet, there’s no distinction between an alarm test or a real-live event—it would be equally as frightening.
Simon the Burmese cat lived in an area of the United States that conducted monthly tests of its emergency alert system, and he wasn’t very fond of them. During one of the scheduled tests in November 2017, his owner captured his reaction to the sirens and shared it on YouTube.
In the video, it started off with Simon doing very normal feline activities, such as grooming himself. When the test alarms went off, he immediately stopped, his little tongue still sticking out, and his eyes wide. He looked around after a brief moment, tongue still protruding.
For Simon, the first step upon hearing the alarms: “take your tongue and hide.”
The Burmese cat hopped off his cat bed, and hurried off, finding a place to hide.
The second step would be to “watch the dog and listen for signs of danger.”
As seen in the video, Simon had settled for a hiding spot underneath the couch, his eyes still wide from the sound of the alarms. His head darted back and forth, listening to any signs of danger.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), during a tornado event, people were advised to get to the lowest level of a building or house, such as the basement of a house, and seek shelter in the center of the room.
NOAA also advised people to cover him or herself with something thick like a mattress for protection against falling debris. Most importantly, people are also advised to avoid any windows during a tornado event.
Meanwhile, the owner’s other pet, a Havanese dog, stared out the window, looking for any signs of danger. Its eyes were glued to the scenery outside. As suggested by the second step Simon took, he was both watching the dog and keeping his ears out for signs of danger.
The camera angle then shifted, facing Simon. His eyes were still wide, cautious as the test alarms kept going. He did not move.
Soon, voices could be heard from the alarms outside, telling people and pets alike that the alarm was a test.
The third step Simon took was “remain alarmed and confused after emergency test is over.”
Simon was then shown no longer underneath the couch, but still hiding behind a lamp, still on high alert. His eyes were still wide, cautiously looking around for any further threats.
He slowly came out of his hiding spot, taking careful steps away from the lamp and moved to the front of the couch.
It’s generally advised that people remain on high alert and be cautious after a tornado event, and not to emerge from hiding unless it is certain that the event had passed.
The fourth step for Simon was to “get a treat from your mom to help you feel better.”
Simon cautiously made his way towards his owner to receive a treat. Simon was still a little worried after receiving the treat, but he managed to calm down after eating.
Step five for Simon was to “resume nap in a bean bag chair with your snuggle buddy.”
The video showed Simon cuddling up to another pet cat.
Despite only being an emergency test, Simon was still quite nervous, but thankfully, he was able to calm down after given treats and cuddles by the owner, as well as the other household pets.
Watch Simon’s hilarious reaction in the video below.