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Laguna Beach to test emergency alert systems Wednesday

Jesse Bowell from Carmel-by-the-Sea paints a scene on Main Beach in Laguna Beach on Tuesday, October
The downtown outdoor warning system in Laguna Beach will sound from loudspeakers at Main Beach, Heisler Park and City Hall during a test at 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the city.
(File Photo)

Laguna Beach plans to test its wireless emergency alert and downtown outdoor warning systems at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

WEA uses the same system as Amber alerts for child abductions. During the test, all cellphones within city boundaries will receive a loud tone and a text message saying “Laguna Beach emergency alert test. No action is required.” The text will link to the city’s website for more details and a survey in which recipients can provide feedback.

Last year, Laguna Beach became the first city in Orange County to be able to access the system for emergency alerts, said Jordan Villwock, the city’s emergency operations coordinator.

The downtown outdoor warning system test will sound a siren and verbal message from loudspeakers at City Hall, Main Beach and Heisler Park. The system was last tested in March 2018. City officials have discussed expanding the outdoor warning system so speakers blast messages citywide.


Laguna Beach has several warning systems for various levels of emergencies. In addition to WEA and the downtown loudspeakers, the city can use AlertOC, an Orange County system that sends messages to landline phones in case of a life-or-death emergency. The city also can ask the county to activate its Emergency Alert System to issue countywide warnings on AM and FM radio and TV.

Laguna’s community alert system gives a variety of notices — from traffic advisories to flood watches — to residents who sign up.