Press ReleasePress Release

Shohreh Dupuis
Director of Public Works/Assistant City Manager
(949) 497-0351


5/25/2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 05252021
 
Subject :City of Laguna Beach Completes Outdoor Emergency Warning System
Contact :Shohreh Dupuis    (949) 497-0351
    

LAGUNA BEACH, CA – The City of Laguna Beach is pleased to announce the completion of its new Outdoor Emergency Warning System, a series of 21 loudspeakers strategically placed around the City to quickly alert residents and visitors of critical safety information in an emergency.  The Outdoor Emergency Warning System is part of the City’s 2019 Wildfire Mitigation and Fire Safety Plan, which identifies and prioritizes additional programs, mitigation measures, staffing and equipment needed to reduce the current level of high fire risk and exposure to wildfires in Laguna Beach. 

“Nothing presents a greater risk to our public safety than a wildfire or a major earthquake,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen.  “This outdoor emergency warning system will save lives in the event of a major disaster.  I am so pleased that the City continues to make meaningful progress on implementing the recommendations from the 2019 Wildfire Mitigation and Safety Plan.”

The Outdoor Warning System is a network of 21 remote speakers that can initiate both an audible tone and verbal instructions.  Specific emergency information can be broadcasted over one or all of the speakers, depending on the information and target audience. Over the past 18 months, City staff has been working to expand the system beyond Main Beach and Downtown to include neighborhoods, locations near schools, areas along the wildland-urban interface and other strategically placed locations around the City. 

“Each enhancement we make to our City’s emergency preparedness makes our residents and visitors safer,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Sue Kempf. “With this new outdoor warning system, we are that much closer to fully executing our Wildfire Mitigation and Fire Safety Plan and ensuring we are as prepared as possible in the event of an emergency.”

The City will be testing the new Outdoor Warning System on Thursday, May 27, at 12:00 noon in honor of National Wildfire Preparedness Month.  The test will include a loud siren followed by a recorded message, indicating that this is only a test.

“The safety of our residents and visitors in an emergency is our top priority,” said Interim Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert.  “This new state-of-the-art emergency warning system provides us with yet another tool to reach more people in our community in an emergency, by enabling us to quickly send safety instructions over the loudspeakers if a wildfire or other hazard is approaching.”

A State Hazard Mitigation Grant partially covered funding for the expansion of the Outdoor Warning System.  

The City would like to thank our partners in the Outdoor Emergency Warning System project: 

 ·       LBUSD

·       LBCWD

·       OC Parks

·        OC Public Works

·        Emergency & Disaster Preparedness Committee

·        Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach

·        St. Catherine of Siena Parish School

·        Gelson’s Market

·        Lost Pier Café/The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Other ways you can stay informed: Click HERE to sign up for the City’s Nixle System, which allows the City to send messages directly to registered users through text messages, emails, and the mobile app. Click HERE to sign up for the County’s regional mass notification system AlertOC, which has the ability to provide important information to a specific geographic area during an emergency.

For more information, please contact Emergency Operations Coordinator Brendan Manning at bmanning@lagunabeachcity.net or (949) 497-0350.

 

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