In times of crisis, the city of Beverly Hills sends out push notifications via voice message, SMS/text message, email and more to alert residents about a potential safety hazard or concern. In April, the City Council advised staff to move forward with plans to establish an additional emergency notification system: a citywide outdoor warning siren (OWS). The sirens are placed strategically around the city to ensure maximum coverage if activated, and add another layer of emergency notification redundancy, especially for those who are outdoors. The intent of the system is to provide mass warning in the event of natural and manmade disasters, including wildfires, earthquakes, floods, civil disturbance, crowd control and more. To test the new OWS and inform the community about wildfire evacuation planning, the City of Beverly Hills’ Office of Emergency Management is hosting two virtual community meetings on Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. and Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.
To demonstrate the siren for residents who are interested in hearing the new OWS firsthand, the city has planned in-person meetings on Dec. 13 at Roxbury Park at 4 p.m. and Dec. 15 at Greystone Mansion at 10 a.m. The siren will be activated as a test for no more than 30 seconds, and no action will be required.
In an April 20 report, staff estimated a total of 12 pole mounted sirens would be required to reach all residents. The estimated cost associated with the installation of a 12-siren system is between $700,000 to $1,200,000, depending on the final locations, siren options, and other external costs. The siren system features voice and tone notification options, which allows for voice commands to be transmitted over the sirens as well as tones.
During the virtual meetings, the city’s Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Works and city Manager’s Office will offer tips on the ways community members can prepare for the unexpected and share how each department has prepared for and mitigated threats of wildfires and other disasters. Participants will get the chance to learn about how to organize their own action plan in an emergency and what supplies to pack.
“We hope the community joins us for either a virtual meeting or in-person siren demonstration as an additional resource to further prepare for a wildfire disaster that could impact them or their families,” said Emergency Management Manager Meena Janmohamed.
To learn more, visit beverlyhills.org/firesirenmeeting or call 310-285-1021.