Should the City of Berkeley immediately begin the process to purchase, install, and maintain an outdoor public warning system (sirens) as a supplement to other alert and warning technologies within our boundaries and coordinated with abutting jurisdictions and Alameda County?
At its May 14, 2019 meeting, the City Council will consider whether to approve a recommendation for the Disaster & Fire Safety Commission to immediately begin the process to purchase, install, and maintain an outdoor public warning system (sirens) as a supplement to other alert and warning technologies within our boundaries and coordinated with abutting jurisdictions and Alameda County. The Commission recommends that this installation should be accompanied by the following: - ongoing outreach and education so that the public will understand the meaning of the sirens and what to do when they hear a siren; - development of a holistic alert protocol, incorporating sirens as an additional option among the available suite of alerting methods; - staff training and drills on alerting procedures; - development of a testing and maintenance plan that will ensure the system is fully operational while avoiding unnecessary or excessive noise pollution in the City; - outreach to deaf and hard of hearing residents to encourage them to opt-in for alerting that meets their communication needs. This may include distributing weather radios or other in-home devices with accessibility options for people with disabilities. This recommendation does not specify the number, type, or location of sirens; City staff should determine the most cost-effective system that achieves the goals described in this recommendation. This may include either mobile or fixed-location sirens.
How would you like them to decide, and what would you like them to consider?
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