Laguna Beach to test new outdoor warning system

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A Long Range Acoustic Device on top of a building at Laguna Beach High School is part of the newly-expanded Outdoor Warning System. Courtesy of city of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach will test its newly-expanded Emergency Outdoor Warning system in two phases on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21.

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the first phase will activate the entire system. consisting of 13 Long Range Acoustic Devices mounted on buildings throughout the city. The public can expect to hear three bell tones followed by a recorded message stating in the event of a real emergency additional information would be presented. Individual speaker tests will occur from 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A little over half the planned warning system is deployed at major landmarks including City Hall, Gelson’s Market, El Morro Elementary, Thurston Middle School, Laguna Beach High School., the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, Main Beach’s white lifeguard tower, the Gazebo on Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, Crescent Bay Beach, and all of Laguna Beach’s fire stations. The system will include 21 sites when completed.

Following the wildfire in Paradise, Calif., Laguna Beach officials recognized the need for a secondary system to issue evacuation orders in case cell towers are burned or lose electricity. This scenario could complicate the delivery of alerts sent to cell phones.

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