Outdoor Warning Sirens

Overview

Sarpy County's Outdoor Warning Siren System consists of 67 sirens that serve to alert residents to take shelter indoors and seek more information. While the outdoor warning system 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.

To receive emergency information during severe weather or other hazardous event you should get a NOAA weather radio, familiarize yourself with the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and tune in to local media reports, from television, radio, or social media.

Outdoor Warning System

Designed as an outdoor 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 sirens can be heard during monthly 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.

Reporting Siren Issues

To report a faulty siren please send us an email at sarpyema@sarpy.gov and in your message please include 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.

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.

2021 Test Dates

  • March 6
  • April 3
  • May 1
  • June 5
  • July 3
  • August 7
  • September 4
  • October 2

Siren Activation

There are five 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 for a any portion of Sarpy County
  • A trained and certified weather spotter or a local public safety official reports a tornado within Sarpy County to the NWS, Sarpy County EMA, or Sarpy County 911
  • When Sarpy County EMA or Sarpy County 911 receives credible reports of damage or the imminent threat of sustained winds greater than 73 miles per hour
  • 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.

For More Information

For more information, visit the NOAA Weather Radio website. The frequencies serving Sarpy County are 162.400 out of Omaha and 162.475 out of Lincoln. The Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) number for Sarpy County is 031153. For more information about the Emergency Alert System (EAS) please visit the FEMA website.