KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If you hear a siren on Wednesday, October 4 in Sevier County, don’t worry – it’s likely a test.

The Sevier County Emergency Management Agency and the City of Gatlinburg are conducting an Emergency Alert Systems test on all the Outdoor Warning Siren Systems in Sevier County between 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. The test will be a full alert activation and include audible siren sounds. It will last for two minutes.

There are 15 sirens in Sevier County and nine in Gatlinburg. The sirens provide two different kinds of alerts; mechanical sirens provide an audible siren, while modulator units provide an audible siren and verbal instructions.

“Testing the Outdoor Warning Siren System is an opportunity to make sure all the equipment at the 24 locations is in working order, as well as educating the public on what to do in the event of an emergency that requires the activation of these sirens,” said Sevier County Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Ayers.

“Sevier County’s Outdoor Warning Siren System is designed to provide public notification of emergencies to individuals who are outside and may not have access to traditional communication devices, such as television, radio, or mobile phones,” reads a release from Sevier County EMA.

In the event that the October 4 test was a real emergency requiring the use of sirens, Sevier County EMA says to take the following steps:

  • Return indoors to turn on a television or radio and tune in to local media outlets.
  • Access 1680AM for emergency communication information.
  • Visit Sevier County Emergency Management’s Facebook and Twitter Pages.
  • Follow instructions provided by the siren and/or local emergency officials.

The test coincides with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts at 2:00 p.m.

In addition to the October 4 test, the Outdoor Warning Siren System is tested each month by playing short audible sounds on the mechanical siren or a blurb of Rocky Top on the modulator sirens. This test takes place at noon on the first Wednesday of every month.