Another component of those efforts is the installation of new technology to help alert residents about wildfire danger or other emergencies. So-called LRAD sirens – Long Range Acoustical Devices – look like big loudspeakers and are considerably more powerful and more efficient than the sirens the city has deployed for many years. They can receive emergency messages via satellite and have back up batteries if the power fails.
Mill Valley Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Scott Barnes says the devices can transmit can broadcast lifesaving information for any emergency scenario and can travel up to one mile. The LRAD sirens, which came at a cost of $500,000, are located in Cascade, Blithedale and Warner Canyons, plus Scott Valley and atop Mill Valley City Hall, and can thus capable of transmitting through city limits in the event of an emergency, city officials say.
The LRADs will be tested on the first Saturday of every month at noon. If you hear the sirens at any other time, turn on a radio or TV to a local station for important emergency information. Do not call 911. More info.