Letters to the Editor

Flood hazard sirens senselessly scaring people

To the Editor,

Re: City puts dams and evacuation warning system to test, Jan. 21.

I was born and raised in Israel. Israel had, and still has, emergency sirens throughout the country. During the 24 years that I lived there, the sirens were used two or three times a year to mark days of mourning, and were rarely tested besides that. I even had the unpleasant experience of hearing them several times during the first Gulf War, being used in real time due to real threats.

I live in Harewood, within the flood evacuation zone, and went to the public information session at John Barsby Secondary School a couple of months ago. There I was told that the monthly testing of the sirens around the dams was mandated by the manufacturer of the sirens. The sirens that I grew up with in Israel were based on technology that is now decades old. Yet they functioned just fine being used just two or three times a year.

I see no justification nor need for the monthly tests of the sirens around the dams. Either the city purchased sirens of such low quality that they aren’t as dependable as the sirens Israel had in the 1970s, or someone in the administration of the City of Nanaimo has an interest in keeping people extra fearful and on edge about the dams.

I really don’t want either of these options to be true, and look forward to hearing about a change in the policy of monthly siren testing.

Ilan Goldenblatt

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