Cobb County has more than 70 outdoor warning sirens to alert residents during a weather-related emergency, including ten sirens that can also broadcast voice messages.
The intent of warning sirens is to alert people who are outside that an imminent danger is approaching; they are not designed to be heard within a home or other building.
Cobb County conducts outdoor warning siren system tests at noon on the first Wednesday of each month, sounding the sirens for 3 to 5 minutes. In the event that there is inclement weather on the first Wednesday of the month, the test will be postponed until the following day, the first Thursday of the month.
The siren system shall be activated for a period of 3-5 minutes in duration when one of the following conditions exist. These conditions include but may not be limited to:
- The National Weather System (NWS) issues a tornado warning.
- A tornado has been spotted by a trained storm spotter.
- Additional weather warnings necessitating public warning are issued.
- Hazardous Materials incidents have occurred whereby evacuation, shelter-in-place, or other protective action is necessary.
- A National Security Event has occurred.
- Any other incident or impending danger where the CEMA Director or Deputy Director determines the need for public notification and protective action.
All sirens can be used to warn residents to seek shelter. However, only sirens that can deliver voice messages will be utilized for any other protective action.
The entire siren system and all components are diagnostically and audibly tested at 12:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, conditions permitting. The sirens shall sound for a period of 3-5 minutes in duration. If inclement weather conditions exist on the first Wednesday, then the test shall be postponed until 12:00 p.m. the first Thursday at the direction of the CEMA Deputy Director. If inclement weather also exists on the first Thursday, then testing for that month shall be cancelled at the direction of the CEMA Deputy Director.
During National Severe Weather Awareness Week, the standard monthly siren test date and time will adjust in conjunction with the State Wide Tornado Drill.