Outdoor Warning Sirens

What kind of sirens are used in Calhoun County?

All Calhoun County's sirens are electronic, omni-directional sirens (essentially, a large loudspeaker).  The sirens are controlled by a digital activation system that provides two-way diagnostics.

The sirens have the capability of both sounding an alert tone as well as live voice (public address).

Sirens in Calhoun County are operated separately by the Calhoun County EMA, the City of Piedmont, Anniston Army Depot (ANAD), as well as the Fort McClellan Army National Guard Training Center (Pelham Range).

When are the sirens tested?

Calhoun County tests all of its sirens on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:00 pm, weather permitting.  In the event of predicted inclement weather, the sirens will not be tested.  If you notice a siren having a problem, or not working during a monthly test, please contact Calhoun County EMA.

The City of Piedmont also tests sirens on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:00 pm in coordination with Calhoun County EMA.

Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) tests its sirens every Wednesday at 1:00 pm.

Where are Calhoun County's sirens located?

Picture of siren locationsCalhoun County EMA has 108 Whelen WPS-2905 outdoor warning sirens.  These are electronic, omni-directional sirens.  The sirens are controlled by a digital activation system that provides two-way diagnostics.

Click the picture at the right to download a PDF map of Calhoun County EMA siren locations.

The City of Piedmont operates several sirens within city limits.  Sirens are also located at the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) and Fort McClellan Army National Guard Training Center (Pelham Range).

How do the sirens sound for a tornado warning?

Diagram of county showing siren locations with tornado warning polygon overlay.For tornado warnings, Calhoun County EMA's sirens within the warning polygon will automatically activate twice using a steady warning tone.

To see a diagram of how the polygon activation siren would sound only certain sirens for a hypothetical tornado warning, click the image to the left.

If you hear outdoor warning sirens during a tornado warning, this means you are probably inside the warning risk area and you should take cover immediately!

What other hazards are the outdoor warning sirens used for?

Calhoun County's sirens may also be used in the event of hazardous materials (hazmat) release, enemy attack against the United States, or other emergencies.  The system has the capability of live public address (PA) across all 108 sirens, which could be used to deliver information in an emergency.

  • A hi-lo tone is used for hazmat emergencies.  This would precede a public address (PA) announcement
  • An attack tone would be used in case of a hostile strike against the USA

Calhoun County EMA's sirens are not sounded for thunderstorm warnings.  Sirens will never be sounded for weather watches, since these are only a "heads up" which means you should stay alert for developing situations that may require a warning to be issued.