Chipley, FL - It's that split second in time when a tornado watch becomes a warning.
With only minutes to prepare- Chipley city officials got a weather siren to help you make the most of those few moments.
"If we have a funnel cloud or a tornado spotted, or if the national weather service issues a tornado warning, we will set it off," said Floyd Aycock.
It's not a new concept- tornado sirens have been around a while.
And the equipment's not new either.
"We took an old siren that we had, an airriated warning system that we had, that we used originally for the fire department members to know we had a call," said Aycock.
But after a few system updates, the cyclone siren is new to Chipley.
"We had nothing. We relied on the media and weather and national weather service," said Aycock.
Run off electricity and insured by a back up generator- Chief Aycock says the alarm can be heard throughout most of the city.
But, it shouldn't be residents first line of defense.
"This is just a tool that we still recommend the media, weather radios, as far as monitoring the weather, not just rely on this siren to be your only warning."
And though many couldn't recall the last twister to touch down in the area- city officials agree its 5 grand well spent.
"It's like the fire department, you know? Why do we spend so much money to have a fire department? You never know when you're going to need it," he said.
Officials say if you hear the alarm sound- don't immediately panic.
The department tests the system on the first Friday of every month between 3 and 4 pm.