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Berkeley installs new emergency warning sirens across city

The city of Berkeley has new emergency warning sirens to alert people outdoors of imminent danger.

Ten sirens have been installed and five more will be installed early next year. The sirens wail and provide a verbal message to alert residents of dangers such as wildfires and tsunamis, city officials said Thursday. 

People who hear the sirens and/or message should seek more information from the city’s emergency map and AC Alert, which pushes notifications to residents, but which residents must sign up for. 

The map can be found online and residents can sign up for AC Alert on this website

To hear what the siren/verbal message sounds like when officials activate it, people can listen to it on Soundcloud.

AC Alert and Berkeley’s emergency map will tell residents what to do, such as whether to evacuate or shelter in place, in the event of an emergency. The necessary actions may apply to the whole city or just part of it, city officials said. The action required will depend on the emergency.

People unaffected directly by an emergency should stay informed because an emergency in one area may require residents in another area to act, according to the city.

The new sirens were made possible by funding in Measure FF, which Berkeley voters passed in December 2020. Installation started earlier this year. 

The sirens are tied to PG&E’s grid and have a solar-powered battery backup system, which can be turned on by a landline phone, cellphone, computer or via satellite.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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