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Tornado siren will be tested at 10 a.m. today
Hall County last activated alarm in August
Hall County will be testing tornado sirens such as this one at 10 a.m. today. - photo by Tom Reed

Click here to watch a slideshow that explains how the warning system works and hear actual tornado sirens.

If you hear a tornado siren this morning, don’t worry: It’s just a test.

Hall County Central Communications/E911 will be conducting an audible test of the severe weather warning system at 10 this morning.

"We don’t do an audible test but once a quarter," said Central Communications Director Marty Nix. "We like to test to make sure that our system is up and operating."

Though the audible siren tests only happen a few times a year, Nix said the system is checked silently every day.

Nix said they aim to conduct the audible test on a clear day so people don’t confuse the test with a real severe weather alert.

"We don’t want to do the audible test when there’s inclement weather or thunderstorms or anything of that nature," he said.

The severe weather warning system was last activated in August, when tornados resulting from Tropical Storm Fay touched down in Hall County.

"Even though there was not a weather alert from the National Weather Service, a police officer, I believe it was in Oakwood, spotted the funnel cloud and ... we made the alerts then," Nix said.

Other than previously announced tests, all sirens should be considered to be an actual tornado warning and people should take shelter immediately.

The county’s weather warning system was installed after a deadly tornado hit North Hall on March 20, 1998, killing 12 people and causing about $15 million in damage. As a result of that storm, warning sirens were installed throughout the county to alert residents when a potential tornado is on the way.