The Tennessee Valley is no stranger to severe weather, in fact, we have two severe weather seasons. Outdoor warning sirens are one of many ways to be alerted during severe weather and here in North Alabama there are a total of 510 sirens.

While these are useful, they are truly meant to be heard by individuals outdoors. Madison County Emergency Management Director Jeffrey Birdwell reminds residents not to “rely on an outdoor warning siren, it’s called an outdoor warning siren for a reason. They were designed to notify people who are outdoors and not in front of their tv, near a radio.”

According to Birdwell, the 131 sirens in Madison County are activated on a polygon basis. What this means is sirens that are located within the tornado warning polygon will be activated. They are able to determine the specific sirens using their computer software. There are only two other counties that activate sirens based on polygons, DeKalb and Marshall counties.

Second Severe Weather Season Fast- Approaching

The remaining counties across the Tennessee Valley activate every siren if a tornado warning is issued within that county. One of the counties that use this method is Colbert County. “Currently ours is manually set off here at the office and we go by the entire county so if any one particular part of the county is under a tornado warning we activate all sirens in the county,” says EMA Director Michael Smith.

Franklin County EMA Announces Mass Alert System

Like all other technology, sometimes these sirens may go down due to maintenance or because they need to be replaced. This is the reason why it is so important to have multiple ways to receive weather alerts.

The Live Alert 19 app is a great way to get weather alerts right away. Other ways to stay up to date when severe weather strikes are purchasing a NOAA radio or signing up for your local EMA’s alert system.

Siren and Shelter Information Per County

Colbert County:

Colbert County EMA Director Michael Smith says there are 56 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued anywhere in the county, all the sirens will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. There are a total of 27 and you can find the list of them here. Residents in the county are also encouraged to sign up for the mass notification service which will alert you immediately if warnings are issued. This is available for smartphones and you can learn more about this safety alert system here.

DeKalb County:

DeKalb County EMA Director Anthony Clifton says there are 28 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued, sirens within the warned polygon will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. There are a total of 11 and you can find the list of them here.

Franklin County:

Franklin County EMA Director Mary Glass says there are 32 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued anywhere in the county, all the sirens will be activated. Residents in the county are encouraged to sign up for the mass notification service which will alert you immediately if warnings are issued. This is available for smartphones and you can learn more about this safety alert system here.

Jackson County:

Jackson County EMA Deputy Director Joshua Whitcomb says there are 13 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued anywhere in the county, all the sirens will be activated. Residents in the county are encouraged to sign up for the mass notification service which will alert you immediately if warnings are issued. You can do that by clicking here.

Lauderdale County:

Lauderdale County EMA Director George Grabryan says there are 75 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued anywhere in the county, all the sirens will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. It is important to follow their social media pages to learn which shelters will be available. Residents in the county are also encouraged to sign up for the mass notification service which will alert you immediately if warnings are issued. This is available for smartphones and you can learn more about this safety alert system here.

Lawrence County:

Lawrence County EMA Director Chris Waldrep says there are 10 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued anywhere in the county, all the sirens will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. There are a total of 13 which can be found on the Lawrence County Safety App. Residents in the county are encouraged to download the app which will alert you immediately if warnings are issued!

Limestone County:

Limestone County EMA Director Eddie Gilbert says there are 75 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued anywhere in the county, all the sirens will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. There are a total of 11 which can be found here. Residents in the county are encouraged to follow the ema on social media to stay updated.

Madison County:

Madison County EMA Director Jeffrey Birdwell says there are 131 outdoor warning sirens across the county. The majority of these sirens are located within the city limits of Huntsville and Madison. When a tornado warning is issued sirens within the warned polygon will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. You can find the list of community shelters here. Residents in the county are encouraged to follow the ema on social media to stay updated.

Marshall County:

The Marshall County EMA team says there are 69 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued sirens within the warned polygon will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. There are 11 public storm shelters in the county. Residents in the county are encouraged to follow the ema on social media and to sign up for the mass alert system. To find out how to sign up for this service click here.

Morgan County:

Morgan County EMA Director Brandy Davis says there are 22 outdoor warning sirens across the county. When a tornado warning is issued anywhere in the county, all the sirens will be activated. When a tornado watch is issued, community shelters will open. There are a total of 22 public locations to seek shelter in a tornado event. You can find an interactive map of this here. Residents in the county are also encouraged to follow the Morgan County EMA on social media.