The City of Mill Valley conducted its Annual Evacuation Drill on May 18, 2019 with over 170 residents participating. The drill focused on the Scott Valley and Alto/Sutton Manor neighborhoods – an area of town in the Wildland Urban Interface, an area where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildland fire.
“Keeping our community safe is our number one priority, and the annual drill is an important opportunity for us to all work together toward that goal,” Mayor Jim Wickham said. “With the changing conditions in fighting wildfires, it is even more crucial that we engage our local neighborhoods in preparedness activities.”
Prior to the drill, a postcard was sent to the residents in the area with instructions on how to participate in the drill, as well as informational door hangers delivered by Tampalpais High School Students. Residents were instructed to prepare for the drill ahead of time – to pack a “Grab & Go Bag” and sign up for AlertMarin Emergency Notification System at www.alertmarin.org and Nixle, by texting “94941” to 888777.
Beginning at 8:30 am, notifications were sent within the evacuation drill boundary alerting residents to evacuate. Once they received notification, they collected their “Grab & Go Bags” and arrived at the Drill Command Center at Edna Maguire Elementary School. The Command Center was set up with emergency information provided by our community emergency preparedness and response partners.
The drill also featured the deployment of a portable Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a voice command amplifier that demonstrated the ability to broadcast verbal alerts and instructions to area community members. Earlier this year, the Mill Valley City Council approved the purchase and installation of five LRADs to replace the current siren system. The City of Mill Valley will be the first community in Marin to deploy a land-based LRAD system. They are scheduled for installation in upcoming weeks.
The City would like to recognize and thank all the Mill Valley, local, and regional public safety personnel for their efforts in developing and executing the drill. Thank you also to the partner agencies:
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Public Information Officer