Malibu Launches Residential Emergency Alert Radio Stations

Malibu residents can now hear weather alerts in their homes via a weather alert radio system, the City of Malibu Emergency Services Division announced Friday.

The alert system, broadcast by the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will alert any residents with NOAA Weather Alert Radios to any severe weather and natural disasters, such as tsunamis.

Residents must purchase their own radios, costing about $25, to hear the alerts, and can tune in on two separate channels: 146.425 and 146.525. In case of an emergency, radios will receive an area-specific message on a radio frequency that the city said is “impervious to crashes related to bandwidth or other cyber problems.”

The city will continue using existing warning systems, such as Nixle, Facebook and the emergency hotline, but Emergency Services Coordinator Brad Davis said the addition of NOAA radios will help improve emergency response.

“Because these warnings are triggered directly by the National Weather Service, they will likely be more timely than if they were being passed to a representative of the Sheriff’s Department or a member of City staff for re-distribution,” Davis said in an email.

In case of an emergency, the radio will emit an 80-decibel warning tone, which is designed to save lives during nighttime events. There is also a battery backup in case of a power outage.


“This additional tool is valuable both from a standpoint of immediacy, plus the fact that it will produce an instant audible warning in the home: There are no telephones to answer, test messages to read, or computers to check,” Davis said.

Radios are available for purchase online and from area retailers.

“We really want to encourage people to go out and buy one of these weather alert radios,” Davis said in an email. “They will make a big difference in getting advance warning of an impending emergency, especially tsunamis.” 

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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