By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Across North Texas, several cities activated their outdoor warning systems Tuesday evening when a severe hail storm moved through.  But many who heard the warning were left wondering if the sound of sirens meant a tornado was expected.

At Merryhill Private School in Arlington, students took cover.

“Because the sirens went off we erred on the side of caution and protected the children,” said Principal Michelle Bechtel.

The city of Arlington sounded the alarm citywide to alert residents of severe weather approaching.

“We had a representative from the National Weather Service indicate we had large hail and high winds potentially baring down on the north end of town,” said Arlington’s Assistant Fire Chief Jim Self, “We had a Texas Rangers game beginning, so we made the decision to be proactive and alert the public of an impending threat.”

There are 48 outdoor warning sirens throughout the city of Arlington.  The city has a list of the locations on their website.

Emergency Management officials received several calls from residents who thought the sirens were only sounded if a tornado was posing a great risk, but Self said that isn’t the case.

“In today’s world we use them for all sorts of things,” he said, “primarily weather events but they’re also utilized for acts of terrorism, a hazardous material release on a highway or railroad, or any other declared emergency.”

“No matter if it’s a real risk or not at that point, we want to take precautions,” Bechtel said.