News Flash

Fire Department/Emergency Preparedness

Posted on: January 26, 2022

Did You Hear It? Submit Your LRAD Feedback

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The "Did you hear it ?" (DYHI) campaign was developed to tap the abundant information available about the on-going monthly testing from the people who experience them. By taking advantage of the vast number of Internet users, we can get a more complete description of what people experienced, the effects of the monthly testing, and the extent of missing coverage. And best of all, with your help we can do so almost instantly.

Be a part of our team and share your experience with our NEW "Did you hear it?" form.

By contributing your experience of the notification system, either immediately afterward, or whenever it is possible for you to do so, you make a contribution to the body of information about each activation of the system. You also ensure that your area has been represented in the evacuation drill and siren testing network. This is a two-way street: not only will you add valuable information on the extent of the system coverage, but in the process we hope you will learn more about how other communities gain a greater understanding of this part of the emergency notification system.

DYHI data are now being used in a number of applications. For example:

  • Providing sound sculpting data for coverage and future site locations.
  • Evaluating community understanding of the notification system.
  • Educating the public of why monthly testing is required in the area.
  • Comparing the results of sound projection maps with DYHI responses.

What is LRAD? 

Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) emergency alert systems are unique in that they can project both siren and voice recordings to alert and inform community members during a large-scale disaster. The new sirens are the first land-based LRAD system in Marin County.

Why LRAD sirens?

The purchase and installation of the LRAD system goes a long way to improve the resiliency and redundancy of our communication systems. LRAD systems are highly effective in communicating warnings, instructions, and notifications throughout incident sites and over vast areas during life-threatening events.

What Does LRAD sound like?

 

When will you use them?

In the event of a disaster or large-scale emergency, one or all of the sirens may be activated to alert residents to tune into local media (City website, social media, radio and television stations) for further information and instructions. 

Don't call 9-1-1...

When you hear sirens. Use 911 for life-threatening emergencies only. The City of Mill Valley emergency warning system is tested on the first Saturday of each month at noon and the many of the new installations are expected to be tested on that same schedule. Installation dates for new sirens may require additional notifications to the surrounding residents via Nixle or Alert Marin, that it is only a test. If you hear the siren at any other time, tune in to KQED 88.5 FM, KCBS 740 AM or KGO 810 AM and local TV stations for further information.

History of LRAD & other sirens in Southern Marin?

LRAD systems are currently installed in five locations through-out the City of Mill Valley and tested on the first Saturday of every month. Mill Valley replaced the existing sirens in 2019. Mill Valley replaced sirens similar to those being utilized as outdoor sirens currently in multiple locations though-out the Town of Tiburon.

The Town of Tiburon alerts, known as SNAP (Siren Notification Alerting the Peninsula), is a rotating beacon style horn that will sound if the area has been cut off from outside resources. Find out more by visiting the SNAP webpage with more specific details. 

Most all fire stations have had horns and sirens in the past that would be tested on the first Saturday of each month. Advancements in technology and increased wildfire threats have lead emergency services to increase the installation and expansion of outdoor sirens through-out the community.

Where are we now?

Currently funding has been secured for 7 additional LRAD sites for the Southern Marin Fire District communities. Southern Marin Fire Protection District plans to install five additional LRADs to the following locations: Homestead, Sausalito, Strawberry, Tamalpais Valley, Town of Tiburon, and the City of Mill Valley.

These installations are being broken into phases based on funding sources through the MWPA (Marin Wildfire Protection Authority). Some phases are then subdivided into parts to accommodate installation requirements, such as permitting and environmental review. The goal is to expedite these installations based on the need, while still providing for the oversight of local councils and stake holders. Public outreach has been broadcasted for years through public evacuation drills and "Living room meeting", both hosted jointly by local fire and police agencies. This page went live for Southern Marin on August 28, 2021.

For more information on the progress of the installation phases, please visit: https://www.smfd.org/our-district/preparedness/lrad-emergency-sirens

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