A Paper on Maui's Sirens during the 2023 Wildfires

This was a paper I was asked to write for one of my classes. I figured some might enjoy.

Prompt: In Lahaina, HI, officials chose not to sound outdoor warning sirens during the wildfire. Critics claim that this act would have saved countless lives, while local officials stated that this could have led the public towards the wildfires instead of evacuating.

Sirens are often an integrated part of a mass notification system, warning the public about an upcoming situation that requires action. As shown in this incident, special considerations must be taken into account so that sirens relay the correct message and its urgent nature.

Write a response providing a recommended best practice for using sirens, or its derivatives, as a method of mass notification. You should specify its intended use and limitations. Keep in mind that sirens are used across the globe, from Stillwater to Japan, so describe its use in the context of the geographical or city area - signal tones, what justifies its use, government policies and guidelines, etc. Be sure to consult both official (e.g., government) and unofficial (e.g., public or field observations) sources. From there, derive your thoughts on a possible best practice.

BousaiGuy_Outdoor_Sirens.pdf (558.7 KB)


Sirens with a hi-lo tone should use the hi-lo tone in the event of a wildfire

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