BEVERLY HILLS—On Tuesday, November 17, the Beverly Hills City Council will decide whether to move ahead with a citywide warning siren system. Councilmembers will take into consideration a feasibility report brought forth by city Staff. 

The project, according to city staff, “has been identified as a priority project in order to add an additional layer of notification redundancy, primarily for those who are outdoors, in the event of natural and manmade disasters.”

The Citywide Outdoor Warning Siren (OWS) system would add to the city’s toolkit to notify the community of emergency/disaster information, such as evacuations or shelter in place orders. 

“Through this project, sirens would be placed strategically around the City to ensure maximum coverage of audible alert if the sirens are activated,” city stated in its report.

On January 6, 2020, the city of Beverly Hills entered into an agreement with Mission Critical Partners (MCP) “to develop a comprehensive and actionable preliminary OWS plan.” MCP’s feasibility report estimates that “a total of twelve sirens will provide complete coverage Citywide.” The final number and location of the sirens will be determined upon the completion of the final design.

The feasibility report also indicates that the project’s cost could range “from $700,000 to $1,200,000 based on the pole type, method of installation and additional features.” In order to cover the project’s cost, an appropriation from the General Fund would be required. 

In addition, the report indicated that there is an option to include voice capabilities for specific notifications and instructional messages. “The intelligibility of voice messages is affected by natural or manmade obstructions as well as atmospheric conditions,” city explained. 

Community input on the project was expected earlier in the year, but plans for a community meeting at City Hall scheduled for March 18, 2020 were scraped due to the pandemic. 

If the Beverly Hills City Council approves moving forward with the project, “an ongoing public information campaign would be initiated to ensure that the message of these tones is understood and people know what action to take when they hear a siren.”