After a month's break, the Douglas County Emergency Preparedness office plans to resume checking its emergency and storm sirens on Monday.
The county was unable to test the sirens in January because of foul weather on Mondays and concern over the possibility of frightening the public after war with Iraq broke out.
The county tests the sirens at noon on the first Monday of the month from August through February and on the first and third Mondays from March through July, for a total of 17 annual tests.
Monday's test, weather permitting, will consist of the usual two soundings. The first sounding will feature a wavering tone for three minutes, which designates an attack against the United States. After a three-minute break, a steady tone will sound for another three minutes. The steady tone warns of a tornado in the immediate area.
If the weather doesn't cooperate Monday, the test will be tried again Feb. 11.
Dale Creed, emergency preparedness coordinator, said there has been increased public interest in the sirens since the war began. He said that in the event of an actual emergency, no all clear signal will be sounded.
"Any all clear or further information will be given over local broadcast media," Creed said. "If the sirens sound off again, it means once again (to) take cover or pay attention again. It doesn't mean all clear."
Creed emphasized that it was important for people to rely on radio and television in times of an emergency, rather than dial 911, which ties up lines needed by government officials.
There are 24 sirens scattered across the county, Creed said. A voice warning system, which is tied to the siren system, is used by most of the schools and a few businesses in the county, he said.