Emergency Sirens

In Russell County we test the sirens weekly on Saturdays at 12:00 EST

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NWS, implements the Emergency Alert System or EAS at the federal level.  The EAS is the nation’s public warning system requiring broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide communications capability for the President to address the American public during a national emergency.   FEMA is responsible for a national-level activation of the EAS, tests, and exercises. Emergency management officials can also locally activate the Polygon Warning System.

Sirens are usually used to warn of impending natural disaster; while they are also used to warn of threats of military attacks, these rarely occur in the United States. Most often, when you hear an emergency siren, you associate it with severe weather due to its frequency of use. The “alert” sound is a steady, continuous note and some sirens rotate, causing a rising-and-falling tone as the direction of the horn changes.  In Russell County, if the sirens are not being tested, they will only sound for a tornado warning.

Outdoor warning sirens are pre-event warning devices. Sirens are designed to alert citizens who are outdoors of an imminent hazard and prompt them to seek shelter and additional information on the nature of the threat, including timing, location, and severity. 

What to do if you hear a siren outside of the normal testing time?

  • If indoors, get away from windows and move to an interior room.
  • Only call 911 if it is an emergency. Do not call and ask why the sirens are sounding.
  • Tune in to local news stations or weather radios.
  • Take sirens serious. They are meant to keep you safe, not to be ignored.

Is there an issue at a siren location? Please let us know by filling out the form below.