The Malibu City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve the implementation of an indoor siren
warning system in response to the Woolsey fire disaster in 2018. The fire killed three people, burned
almost 100,000 acres, and prompted the evacuation of more than 295,000 people.
The warning system, called Alert FM, is an advanced emergency warning receiver and would send
emergency notifications over the ALERT FM radio network in areas with good coverage.
The devices can be carried anywhere and take AA batteries, send alerts and digital messages to
recipients who have receiver devices located inside their home or business and would cost the city an
initial $400,000, at an annual cost of $25,000 and $100 per unit.
The devices would be free to Malibu city residents. Funding for the devices would come from the Hazard
Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) through FEMA.
Councilmember Paul Grisanti expressed concern that it may be more difficult for some residents to
receive the alerts due to the lack of adequate cellular towers throughout Malibu.
“If there was a system based on AM radio, I would be more confident then because I live in a place
where I can only get AM radio, I can’t get FM,” Grisanti said.
Photo by akrassel