Cranston Fire
Firefighters battle a wildfire near Idyllwild in 2018. Courtesy OnScene.TV

The Board of Supervisors is slated to sign off on a proposed emergency warning system Tuesday for residents of multiple Riverside County communities in the San Bernardino National Forest, providing a means for them to receive alerts regarding threatening wildfires and other disasters.

The Idyllwild & San Jacinto Mountains Emergency Outdoor Warning System would 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 would 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 will need to be 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, an amateur radio organization that relies on volunteer “HAM” operators throughout the mountain communities, including Garner Valley and Poppet Flats, to disseminate timely information to their neighbors.

The five-phase project is expected to take at least two years to complete.

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