Town of Paradise receives grant for new emergency alert system

The town of Paradise has announced it is moving forward with a new emergency alert system. Action News Now reporter Kristian Lopez explains.

Posted: Aug 21, 2020 10:23 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2020 10:26 AM

PARADISE, Calif. - It's been almost two years since the Camp Fire and people on the ridge say this smoke and haze from the nearby fires have them on edge.

This comes as the town of Paradise just announced it is moving forward with a new emergency system that would alert the town in case of another disaster.

Action News Now spoke with people who were on the ridge on Thursday afternoon. Community member, Dennis Speer says, "The PTSD of going through that kind of a traumatic fire is phenomenal, and now to have this smoke coming in through the doors and windows everywhere you look."

Alvin White, said, "The lack of knowledge of how close the fire is, where is the fire, I'm sure there's a lot of people that are extremely tense."

This comes as the town of Paradise announced it has received a grant for a new emergency alert system, a siren, to be used in the case of a disaster.

RELATED: Fire Watch Coverage

Disaster Recovery Director, Katie Simmons said, "This grant will allow us to design a system for communication during events like a fire, an early warning system will work in connection with code red, it will be heard all around town and will help citizens understand what's going on especially as things evolve."

"I think an emergency alert would be vital, the way that dangers can come into a town, they can be moving at 50 miles an hour right down the roadway," said Speer. 

While some say this new emergency alert system will make them feel safer, others say this is something that should have been done a long time ago.

"What's happened has happened," said Bryan Manzo, from Paradise. "Perhaps they should have thought about this 20 years ago."

Simmons added, "We know communication is a challenge but also necessary, especially in rapidly changing situations like an emergency. We want to have every tool in our toolbox to work with our community so that those notifications are timely and everyone knows what to do."

Once the system is designed, the town will apply for additional funding to install the project. Construction would take place after that funding is secured which would be sometime in 2021.

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It took a few hours, but the sun broke through the clouds over most of northern California Tuesday afternoon. The low clouds, fog and light rain showers return to the valley Wednesday, with snowy weather in the mountains.
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