The Douglas County outdoor warning sirens inadvertently were activated briefly this morning at 10:01 by another siren system with similar functionality over 350 miles away during their weekly siren test. Upon notice of the activation, EM Staff assessed any risk to the public, cancelled the activation and immediately contacted Blue Valley Public Safety (BVPS), the siren maintenance company. Staff then worked with partner agencies to assess any short and long term impacts of the issue on the system. The cause of the activation was confirmed by BVPS technicians who were on site this afternoon. According to BVPS “updates to the security of the system, which were not available when the system was originally installed, will be implemented to eliminate the possibility of this occurring in the future.” This work will be completed over the course of the next several days.
Until the security measures are in place there is a minute chance of a false activation, but EM Staff is proactively in contact with the other system owner to avoid any false activations. The other system has been in place and active for over 8 years without any incident. We encourage the community to take any activation of the outdoor warning sirens, other than scheduled test days, seriously and take cover immediately as the sirens are activated when a tornado warning is issued or a tornado threat exists for the area. Outdoor warning sirens are just one of the ways to receive alerts of imminent severe weather. Community members can also sign up for the County’s free notification system by visiting https://bit.ly/DgCoNotification.
We greatly appreciate the support of our community partners and members in helping us spread the word and BVPS for their prompt determination and work to correct the cause of the inadvertent activation.