Coronado is testing a new emergency alert system. Staff photo by Willem Quigley.

The city of Coronado is testing a new emergency alert system as technology on sirens positioned around the island is old, officials say.

Currently, the city is unable to broadcast messages to go along with the siren.

On Nov. 14, the Coronado Fire Department tested out a new system, which has the capability of doing both.

Messages can include evacuation orders

“Sirens are sirens and when you activate one, you don’t know why the siren is being activated. So, with this technology the nice thing about it is we can pre-record a message into the system and we can actually broadcast that message across the community,” said Coronado Fire Chief, Jayson Summers.

FILE: Coronado Fire Chief Jayson Summers at the Coronado Fire Department. Photo taken by Madeline Yang.

Summers told CBS 8 the department is trying to find new ways to better communicate with the community and keep people safe. Messages on a new system can range from information about an event to evacuation orders.

The siren Coronado is currently testing is from the company Genasys. It’s long-range and can be heard from miles away.

“We can also send separate messages to each one of the speakers. So, we can say the people here because we have limited access, we want you to start evacuating now and we can tell other people we don’t want you to evacuate until later,” said Michael Shanks, with Genasys.

New technology ensures alerts

/ Summers says while emergency alerts can be sent to people’s smartphones, not everyone has access to one.

This technology ensures they’ll receive an alert just like everyone else in all types of scenarios, from wildfires, to tsunamis, and active shootings.

“It can be for emergencies. It can be for public safety,” he said. 

People in Coronado during the test say they’re in favor of whatever it takes to keep the community safe.

“For the community to be alert, there are so many things going around that we always have to be prepared,” said Yolanda Lopez. 

“I think it’s a great attribute to what is already in place,” said Rebecca Ryan. 

Still in testing phase

The technology tested can either be mobile, or positioned on polls. It also has an app associated with the alarm, where people can read and or receive that same message simultaneously via email, text, or recorded voice message.

At this point, Coronado is still in the testing phase. City officials did not disclose the cost or when a new system will be in place.

To see the original story go here:

The Coronado News and CBS8 have a partnership to share stories.

More News

Shannon Handy is a reporter for CBS8 in San Diego.