At the May 13 Yucaipa City Council meeting, Emergency Services Coordinator Sherrie O’Connell noted intentions to implement new emergency systems Ready San Bernardino County, Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), and the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) for citizens to be informed of natural disasters.
Considering the significant damage caused by the Pendleton Fire in 2009, which forced 900 Yucaipa residents to evacuate their homes, as well as the devastating fire in Paradise last year, city councilmembers unanimously agreed to the importance of the alarm systems.
Referring to the 2018 fire in Paradise, City Councilmember Denise Allen said, “If that doesn’t compel action, nothing will.”
City Manager Ray Casey noted that Yucaipa is “surrounded by wild lands” and therefore susceptible to fires, floods, and other natural disasters.
Ready SB County is a phone app that sends emergency alert warnings in real time. Residents with a smart phone can download the app from iTunes or Google Play. The app also includes emergency preparedness guides and lists of preparation materials to help residents plan a custom emergency response plan.
IPAWS is the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure, developed by Federal Emergency Management Agency, that provides public safety officials with alerts that are sent to the public through wireless emergency alert systems. An addition to the older Emergency Alert System (EAS), which broadcasts short emergency messages over television and radio stations, IPAWS broadcasts via the Internet and allows for longer messages. IPAWS is expected to become the new standard in mass communication preparedness and response in coming years.
The TENS system sends high-speed mass notifications via text messages to warn San Bernardino County residents of impending dangers. To sign up, visit www.sbcounty.gov, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “Sign Up for Emergency Notification Alerts” to register.
Additionally, the Yucaipa Fire Department plans to introduce Stop the Bleed, a program that teaches average citizens how to treat injuries involving heavy bleeding.
“It kind of goes with how every citizen should know CPR,” said Yucaipa Fire Chief Grant Malinowski. “Every citizen should know this.”