The devastating 2018 Woolsey Fire damaged cellular and landline phone towers, electricity, and the internet, creating a virtual communications blackout throughout the entire City, increasing the danger of the fire, and hindering emergency communications and evacuations.
In December 2019, the City contracted with Mission Critical Partners to conduct a siren sound study to determine the optimum quantity and locations for an effective alerting system. This was the first step in possibly moving forward with an outdoor siren system intended to improve emergency communications when power and communications have been disabled.
The proposed siren system would be part of the City’s overall disaster preparedness efforts, and specifically, part of the Zero Power Plan to increase emergency communication capabilities during widespread power and phone service outages that may occur during high wind, disasters, or Southern California Edison (SCE) Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).
The Consultant's Final Report was presented to the Public Safety Commission during its virtual meeting on August 5, 2020. The Commission recommended that an item be brought back as soon as possible with other options to consider as alternatives to sirens for alerting the community and visitors of a fire or other impending disaster threat with a specific focus on nighttime warnings.
At its Regular meeting on November 9, 2020, the Council received a presentation on the Consultant's report and the Commission's recommendation. The Council directed staff to: 1) move forward with Option #2 of the Siren Feasibility Report; and 2) collaborate with the County of Los Angeles and the Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Governments.