A major fire in the downtown core of a major city would leave people stranded and unable to get out. Depending on the severity, some may not even be aware that an evacuation has been called for. Fortunately, many cities implement sirens to warn their residents of dangers such as fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other disasters.
Evacuation sirens such as this one provide a clear message during emergencies. In an emergency like a major fire or tornado warning, residents need to know they need to evacuate so they can get home safely while leaving room for accidents and having logistic limitations in mind while setting up evacuation plans. There is no way for everyone at once to get the word out without sirens. Not everyone owns a car, and even those that do would be unable to transport the entire city in time without major traffic jams or accidents occurring.
The siren is also more efficient than other warning signals like helicopters because it covers a larger area over land instead of air. It can warn people not only about emergencies taking place at the moment but upcoming decisions like evacuation plans as well. The sirens are small, too, so they can easily fit on top of buildings with minimal cost for installation or maintenance. Although getting around will still be difficult during emergencies if public transportation stops running due to the disaster, most people have cars that they could use during an evacuation despite the limited availability of parking spots.
At this point, most major cities have sirens as a fail-safe in the event of an emergency. However, older cities might not have this safety measure due to their age and lack of updates. While there are some smaller towns without them, they are less likely to be affected by major emergencies that would require evacuation than a larger city.
After a disaster like a fire or a tornado, people often feel sad about the unnecessary loss of lives due to preventable accidents from being stuck somewhere. A good way to prevent this is through education on using public services such as warning sirens properly, so people do not accidentally become trapped if they hear the warning but aren’t aware of what it means or why it is sounding off. This requires more work on the part of local governments or non-profit organizations.
If you are currently in danger, find your evacuation sirens and get to safety as soon as possible. If you are not, work with your state emergency management to ensure that everyone knows what these signals mean so that no one becomes trapped by an evacuation they didn’t ask for or understand the reason why it was happening. The more people who know about their existence, the better-prepared emergencies can be handled to prevent loss of life due to potentially avoidable accidents.