Saint Louis County will test it’s 185 new tornado sirens today at 11 a.m for three minutes. The speakers are each mounted on a 55-foot-high tower and have stacked, omni-directional speakers that resemble large, steel honeycombs. This allows the new system to cover more land area with fewer sirens.

All of the new sirens are solar-powered, with integrated storage batteries. As a result, if  power goes out , the sirens will still be operational. The new system also has voice announcement, or “public address” capability, which gives County emergency management officials the ability to issue directions to specific areas, such as “boil water” alerts.