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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the city of Malibu a $714,000 grant for an outdoor siren system “meant to improve preparedness and response to wildfires and other disasters and provide additional communication tools when others may not be available.”
Announced today, the grant will cover 75 percent of the design and environmental phase of the project, which is estimated to cost up to $951,633, and requires a local funding match of at least $237,000.
“Wildfire has always been Malibu’s number-one public safety threat, but the size, duration and severity of the Woolsey Fire was unprecedented, and showed us the dangerous new normal of drought, climate change and California mega-fires,” said Mayor Mikke Pierson in announcing the grant. “I am proud of the progress we have made in developing strategies to be even more prepared for disasters, including this siren system, which could be a powerful step toward community-wide preparedness.”
Mission Critical Partners was tasked with conducting a sound study “to determine the best quantity and locations for an effective outdoor emergency warning siren system that could be used during wildfires, earthquakes, biohazards, tsunamis, floods, terrorist attacks or other disasters,” according to the city.
That study looked at a variety of factors, including ambient temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, building height, terrain and the effects on sound “based on whether someone is inside a building or outdoors. The study focused particular attention to environmental factors present during red flag fire conditions and understanding the effects of the Santa Ana winds.”
The staff report if available here.