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Berkeley tests out new emergency sirens

The city of Berkeley tested its new outdoor warning system on Sunday at Live Oak Park.

A new network of sirens was installed around the city that uses sound a voice messages. It’s meant to be another layer of reaching neighbors in the event of serious emergencies.

The “fire ready fest” event coincided with the first test of the citywide outdoor warning system. Berkeley fire chief David Sprague says there are 10 sirens so far, and five more coming.

People stood by for the sound. It was a soft test of the system, a chime that was intentional on Sunday.

“But in the event that we are using this siren system for real, you would hear the traditional air raid-type siren followed by emergency voice instructions,” Sprague said.

“It’s good to have redundancy like different layers. Some people may not have access to their phone, what if your phone is out of charge? It’s good to have multiple layers of information,” said Berkeley resident Aamir Ali.

They can be used for different disasters. The system was recommended as another tool to let the community know what’s happening during a disaster.

“We as city have done a lot these past few years to educate our community about wildfire risk ,how to safely evacuate, steps you can take to make your home safe,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín.

After the siren test, neighbors were asked to fill out an online survey about whether they heard it or not, so the city can understand how well the system will work well moving forward.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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