The Board of Supervisors Tuesday signed off on the creation of an emergency warning system for residents of multiple Riverside County communities in the San Bernardino National Forest, intended to provide a means for them to receive alerts regarding wildfire threats and other disasters.
The Idyllwild & San Jacinto Mountains Emergency Outdoor Warning System will entail placing speakers at fire stations, schools, water district buildings, camps and other designated locations for the broadcast of information critical during any type of public hazard that could impact travel or create conditions that warrant precautionary actions to remain safe.
The system will additionally include non-emergency “travelers’ information stations,” advising visitors to the mountain communities of potential delays and disruptions going from one place to another.
The Department of Facilities Management, in conjunction with the Emergency Management Department, selected San Diego-based Genasys Inc. to handle the design and construction of the speaker network.
An initial appropriation of $210,768 was approved by the board. The funds were part of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant.
Partnering in the project is the Mile High Radio Club, a volunteer organization that relies on amateur “ham” operators throughout the mountain communities, including Garner Valley and Poppet Flats, to disseminate timely information regarding potential weather and other impacts.
The five-phase project is expected to take at least two years to complete.
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