Outdoor Warning Sirens

Overview

Sarpy County's outdoor warning sirens serve to alert the public to take shelter indoors and then to seek information. While the outdoor warning sirens can be an effective method of notifying those that are outdoors, to seek shelter indoors, it is only one part of a comprehensive emergency warning system.

The sirens should not be relied upon to give sufficient warning indoors or in noisy areas. Air conditioning, thunder, wind, rain, and other conditions can cause the sirens not to be heard indoors or outdoors, even if the sirens can be heard during tests. Sirens are also subject to lightning strikes and other equipment malfunction. For these reasons, everyone is encouraged to have multiple ways to receive information about severe weather and other hazards.

To receive emergency information during severe weather or other hazardous event, we recommend getting a NOAA Weather Radio, familiarizing yourself with the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, and tuning into local media reports, from television, radio, or social media.

Siren Activation

There are four basic criteria for siren activation:

  • Gretna and Springfield sound sirens for fire calls between 8 am and 6 pm seven days a week. The siren produces a wail tone (alternates high/low sound) for fire calls (a steady tone is used for all other activations)
  • The National Weather Service (NWS) issues a Tornado Warning  or a Severe Thunderstorm Warning with the destructive tag for a any portion of Sarpy County
  • A trained and certified weather spotter or a local public safety official reports a tornado or destructive winds within Sarpy County to the NWS, Sarpy County EMA, or Sarpy County 911
  • A dangerous situation occurs which requires residents to seek shelter immediately

Due to the small geographical size of Sarpy County, all sirens are activated at the same time. During an activation, sirens will be sounded for about three minutes. There is no "all-clear" siren. Sirens may sound multiple times if additional warnings are issued or additional hazards emerge.

Siren Test Information

Siren tests are conducted March through October on the first Saturday of the month at 10 am. Tests may be cancelled if there is severe weather in the area or if the temperature is too cold.

2022 Test Dates

  • March 5 - Two Tests (10:00 and 10:30 AM) - Cancelled
  • March 23 - Annual Statewide Tornado Drill (10:00 AM) - Cancelled
  • April 2
  • May 7
  • June 4
  • July 2
  • August 6
  • September 3
  • October 1

Reporting Siren Issues

To report a faulty siren, please send us an email at SarpyEMA@sarpy.gov. In your message, please include the location of the siren and a description of the issues you believe are occurring.

Equipment Ownership

All the sirens are owned by the municipalities and sanitary improvement districts (SID) of Sarpy County. The County owns and maintains the equipment to activate the sirens. The Sarpy County Emergency Management Agency coordinates the routine testing of the sirens and notifies the owner when a siren malfunctions.