St. Clair County sirens tested after failure a week ago -

St. Clair County sirens tested after failure a week ago

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

 ST. CLAIR, Ill. ( - After the sirens in St. Clair County failed to sound in several communities last week, emergency management officials have worked to ensure that the problem has been fixed during the severe weather season. 

"As of now, they are all functioning except for one and that is in Smithton," said Herb Simmons, Director of the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency.

According to Simmons, crews were out Tuesday morning to make sure all of the sirens worked. 

Crews traced the problem to the transmitter that sends out the signal to all of the sirens. Because the transmitter is used only for the sirens, no one was aware that it wasn't working until they tested the system a week ago. 

"The crews that found the problem are putting together some options for us," said Simmons. "The immediate one that we'll start tomorrow morning is we'll test that frequency on a daily basis." 

Simmons also said that despite the thoughts that it might be too early to worry about thunderstorms and tornadoes, that's shouldn't be the case. 

"It's January, but there has been weather before that we are aware of that we would use them for." 

Back in December of 2010, four tornadoes touched down in Missouri, with Sunset Hills, Fenton and Fort Leonard Wood taking the brunt of the storms. Simmons says he wants the county prepared.

"We're wanting to get a jump on it, trying to be proactive instead of reactive."

 Simmons wants to remind everyone that the siren are part of an outdoor warning system and meant to warn you when you're outside, not inside. He recommends that everyone get a weather radio or sign up for alerts to your phone. 

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