SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) -- The City of Santa Rosa plans to distribute 12,000 All Hazards NOAA Weather Radios (NWR) to its residents throughout the spring and summer, city officials announced Tuesday.
After experiencing several natural disasters this past decade, including wildfires like 2017's Tubbs Fire, which killed at least 22 people and caused billions in damage, the city is building up its emergency alert system. One aspect of the new system is providing residents NWRs as an additional warning network for future disasters.
Santa Rosa received almost $320,000 for the radios from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The program matches grants, awarding 75% of the total costs. The City's non-federal share contributing match for the project is up to $106,022.75
The city requested the funds for radios as they are a low-cost solution when the power and or cell phone service goes out.
"NWRs are reliable, safe, and not dependent on cell phone towers," explained Mayor Chris Rogers. "The City is pleased to provide another means of emergency alerting to our residents, especially to those who may be impacted by power outages and not able to receive traditional alerts through other means."
Starting this week, the city will establish drive-thru events where residents can pick up their free radios. Information on the upcoming radio distribution events as well as the city's instructions for what locals should do during an emergency, which are printed in both English and Spanish.
"This information will vary from phase to phase, and it is important that residents review their individual mailer closely. The first phase of distribution events is organized according to the City's designated evacuation zone areas and are targeted to those zones located in or near the City's Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area," said a statement from the city released Tuesday. "The City will expand distribution to other areas of the City over the next couple of months and while supplies last. The City is also partnering with several non-profit service providers to ensure radios are distributed directly to vulnerable populations within the community."
To view the schedule for the first phase of weather radio distribution events and for more information on emergency preparedness in Santa Rosa, visit srcity.org/ReadySR.
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