The city of Muskogee may soon be investing in a new emergency communication system. On Thursday, city and county officials got a look at a Long Range Acoustic Device. The military has used it for a long time, and it could also help the community when disaster strikes.
Oklahomans know all too well the destruction tornados can cause. In 2013, the Moore tornado ripped through the town, taking out schools, homes and killing more than a dozen.
When it was over, many were left not knowing what to do next. That's where this Long Range Acoustic Device could have come into play. "A warning system doesn't do much good if there's devastation and you can't communicate after that warning," said Muskogee Mayor Bob Coburn. "If your cell phone is down, your land line phone is down, [and] your power is out then you still have access to communicate and this has that potential."
It's easy to understand and customizable to any situation. The LRAD comes in three sizes; the smallest can be carried around and heard up to the length of about two football fields.
Deputy Chief Chad Farmer of the Muskogee Police Department said his department could put it to good use. "For crowd control or if we have a hostage situation, we can give them directions about what to do and it's in a clear and loud understandable voice," Farmer stated.
This medium sized LRAD can be heard in every direction for up to about a third of a mile. The largest is 360 degrees as well and sits on a trailer. People could hear the message up to about a mile away.
Now, city leaders have to come up with the money to buy it. "We are going to look at the budgetary part of it. We are going to look at the possible of getting some grants."
The LRAD's range from a few thousand dollars up to $130,000. Muskogee would be the first community in the U.S. to have the advanced system.