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Posted on: May 11, 2018

Highlights from Town Hall Meeting About Fire Response, Emergency Alerts, Evacuation Procedures

town hall highlights

The meeting on April 26 at City Hall provided information about the entire procedure of response to a fire, from the time a 911 call is made to when residents are evacuated. It also helped to dispel some myths and provide some facts. 


  • Myth: The Fire and Sheriff's Departments depend on the City to alert residents who are in immediate life danger.
  • Fact: The Fire and Sheriff’s Departments are the first in to begin notifying residents who are in immediate life danger using sirens, bull horns and door knocks.
  • Myth: The City’s Disaster Notification System is the first point of notification if there is an immediate life safety situation.
  • Fact: The Disaster Notification System is used to support alerting and evacuation operations by Sheriff’s and Fire officials in the field. No telephonic notification system can be activated faster than first responders who are on-scene. The City’s alerts are an important supplement to the efforts of the Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, and are one tool in a system with many tools. That provides back-up because none of the individual tools is 100% effective, and any of the individual tools may not function completely during an emergency.
  • Myth: The City’s Disaster Notification System can reach all households in Malibu.
  • Fact: The City’s Disaster Notification System can reach most land lines and registered cell phones.  However, landlines must be attached to a telephone that does not block automated calls. Cell phones are not automatically in the system. Individuals must register their cell phones by visiting www.MalibuCity.org/DisasterNotifications.
  • Myth: The City is immediately notified of all emergency situations.
  • Fact: The City is notified of an emergency situation as soon as it is practical to do so. The top priority of first responders on scene is to address the immediate life safety situation. Depending on the time of day and the specific situation, the notification to the City can take 30 minutes or more.
  • Myth: The City should be able to activate emergency notifications within minutes.
  • Fact: The City cannot issue an emergency notification until the emergency information is confirmed and communicated to them, which nearly always takes much more than a few minutes.
  • Myth: Residents don’t need to have an emergency plan because our first responders are very well trained and equipped to put out the fire and help them evacuate.
  • Fact: While our first responders are well trained and equipped to help residents, it is unrealistic to expect that they will be able to locate, alert and assist every resident. All community members should take the steps necessary to make sure they, their families, and their homes are as prepared as possible. 


Learn more about emergency alerts and the emergency response process at the City's emergency alerts information page

MalibuCity.org/emergency