Better communication would improve rapid response


Considering the devastation of Slave Lake, Alta, one needs to think back to the Second World War when the government of Canada installed warning sirens.


Considering the devastation of Slave Lake, Alta, one needs to think back to the Second World War when the government of Canada installed warning sirens.

Every day at two o’clock these sirens would wail their mournful sound, I guess to let us know that they were still functioning.

No this was not in some war zone — this was in Surrey, B.C. where I spent some of my wartime childhood.

This warning process is something we need to take a second look at, possibly again installing devices like this in our communities.

With today’s technology, operation and sounding of such a device could warn us to turn on our FM radio to receive an important, possibly a prerecorded or live message triggered from a 911 centre.

Last year with the raging fire west of Williams Lake, other than having people running around banging on doors to warn those of us in imminent danger to evacuate immediately, there is really no other method of communicating a warning to people.

As we consider the devastation of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, hurricane force winds, and in Williams Lake’s case, forest fire — although I am not just talking about Williams Lake, I am talking about all population concentrations — I think such a warning system could be very critical to the survival of populations.

I envision a system with available technology, where, when a local warning device sounded, a specific area could be warned by an integrated short-range FM station broadcasting to that specific area.

An example might be where a chemical loaded truck overturns on the highway above 11th Avenue; a warning device could sound, followed by an FM broadcast advising people in that specific area of danger.

Such warning could include the requirement to evacuate an area with instructions as to where to go.

Possibly a unique tonal-pitched electronic signal triggered by a 911 operator preceding the broadcast would be a modern version of the siren.

With the things that are happening in the world, for survival, we may need to develop technology for more rapid response.


Doug Wilson

Williams Lake

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