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FEMA Grant Funds New Emergency Warning System In Fire-Ravaged Paradise

PARADISE (CBS13) — A new emergency warning system is coming to the fire-ravaged Butte County town of Paradise thanks to a $2 million FEMA grant.

The grant comes nearly four years after the Camp Fire nearly destroyed the town. The goal is to get construction started this summer.

The mayor of Paradise said this is something the community really pushed for, so if disaster strikes again, they have something they can count on.

"These are the wins as a town that we need to have," Mayor Steve Crowder said.

That win is keeping Paradise strong with a new system giving the community advanced notice of emergencies.

"It's a huge joy in Paradise to have that peace of mind for our citizens," Mayor Crowder said.

Twenty-one sirens will be scattered throughout the town. Each one will have a display board much like those Caltrans signs that can relay emergency information.

"The idea is to cover the entire town limits—that's why 21 of them," Mayor Crowder said. "I'm pretty confident that we'll cover at least 95% of the town with them."

This early warning system was made possible with the FEMA grant.

"It's not going to prevent emergencies, but it's going to give people the ability to have more time to react to them," Mayor Crowder said.

That additional reaction time brings relief after the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history leveled the town back in 2018.

"This will make us better prepared, much better aware and will do the job of saving lives and protecting our citizens," Mayor Crowder said.

The new resource also comes as we approach the critical fire season. With construction slated to start this summer, the next step is hiring a contractor.

"I can't wait until we hit the finish line," Mayor Crowder said.

Other California counties have these early warning systems in place, too, including Sonoma, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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