Santa Rosa city leaders plan to distribute to residents 12,000 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios as part of a program to enhance the city’s emergency alert system.
The city will give the radios to residents throughout the spring and summer at drive-thru distribution events and via non-profit partnerships.
The city paid for the radios using a grant of more than $300,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The radios are considered a reliable and low-cost alert tool, which can be remotely activated by the National Weather Service to broadcast life-saving warnings issued by first responders. They work even when the power is off and when mobile phone service is unavailable.
Beginning this week and over the next couple months, the city will mail to residents an emergency preparedness guide in English and in Spanish, along with information how to receive a free weather radio. The distribution is expected to vary over time, so city officials advise residents to read the mailer carefully for directions.
The first residents who will receive the mailers live in neighborhoods designated as evacuation zone areas or that are located near the city’s Wildland Urban Interface area.