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Activation Policy

  • photo of siren during a storm.
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Outdoor Warning Siren Activation Policy


Revised November 14, 2008


Siren Activation


In addition to siren testing, there are three initiating actions that result in the sirens being activated in Douglas County during the tornado season.


When to activate:


  1. When the National Weather Service initiates a Tornado Warning for any portion of Douglas County. 
  2. When a public safety official or trained storm-spotter states that he/she is in site of a rotating funnel cloud or tornado within Douglas County.
  3. When Douglas County 911 receives credible reports of damage or the imminent threat of hurricane-force sustained winds greater than 74 mph.


Based on the above criteria, an activation of the warning sirens will also take place when severe weather presents an increased threat from its prior status that could result in loss of life or cause serious personal injury.  Examples of this policy are as follows:


  1. If a Tornado Warning is issued for Douglas County, the warning sirens will be activated for one, three minute cycle.  If during the warning period a rotating funnel cloud / tornado is sighted by a public safety official, trained storm-spotter or other credible source, the warning sirens shall be activated once again.
  2. During night-time conditions or in the absence of adequate warning, the on-duty 911 supervisor can direct an activation of the outdoor warning sirens if he/she determines that lives may be saved and injuries averted by alerting the public to the severe weather condition.


Issues and concerns regarding siren performance should be forwarded to the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency for evaluation and any follow-up action.



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