Santa Rosa, California – August 12, 2021 – Sonoma County, Santa Rosa City, and the National Weather Service Bay Area will conduct an emergency alert and warning drill consisting of two separate tests on August 17th. Efforts include nationwide testing of the NOAA Weather Radio warning alert system as well as targeted SMS, email, and / or phone call alert testing for select SoCoAlert subscribers. Please note: If an extreme weather event is forecast, the test warning and the warning exercise will be canceled.
The first test, around noon, is a test emergency message broadcast to all NOAA Weather Radios (NWR) throughout Sonoma County. The NWR warning alarm sounds once, followed by a short test message and a final alarm tone. This test message is transmitted as a civil emergency message and the words “civil emergency message” can run over the NWR displays on compatible radios. The NWR test cycle is run through only once. NWR owners are encouraged to ensure civil emergency alert warning alerts are enabled in order to participate in this test. NWRs, which are distributed via the distribution events of the city of Santa Rosa, are already preprogrammed with the function activated.
The second test, a targeted notification via email, SMS and / or phone call, will be directed to those with addresses within the designated evacuation zones of Montecito Heights and Fountaingrove 2 of the city of Santa Rosa. A test emergency message will be sent at 1:00 p.m. in the Montecito Heights designated evacuation zone of the city of Santa Rosa. This is a short text message, email, and / or phone call to any contact associated with an address within the Montecito Heights zone. At 1:15 p.m., in the designated evacuation zone Fountaingrove 2 of the city of Santa Rosa, a test emergency message will be sent, which will also consist of a short SMS, email and / or phone call to all contacts linked to an address within the fountaingrove are 2 zones.
Residents are encouraged to prepare before the August 17th exercise. Santa Rosa residents who are unsure of their designated evacuation zone should refer to tosocoemergency.org/evacuation-map or call 2-1-1 for help on the phone. While only select Santa Rosa residents will be included in the SMS, phone, and email alert test, it is important that all residents know their evacuation zone in order to be prepared for an emergency if you do so. All Sonoma County residents who own a NOAA weather radio should also ensure their device is plugged in, with backup batteries installed, and set up according to the radio manufacturer’s instructions. To be prepared for an actual emergency at all times, all Sonoma County residents should register for Emergency Alerts at atsocoemergency.org/sign-up and existing subscribers should review and update contact information as necessary.
The targeted SMS and phone call alarm test compares two separate alerting systems that use the county’s SoCoAlert subscriber base – Everbridge is used for the 1pm test and Code Red is used for 1:15pm. In addition, emergency officers can assess how two separate warning system providers proceed when reaching the targeted residents. The state of California has selected Sonoma County as a pilot district to test the effectiveness of the Everbridge system. The test of the non-weather emergency call system with NOAA weather radio offers the possibility of testing an extended use of an existing alerting tool. This summer, the city of Santa Rosa distributed approximately 12,000 NOAA weather radios to city residents to take advantage of this additional emergency alert facility. Funding for this distribution was provided by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
For more information on the joint alert and warning exercise on August 17, visit socoemergency.org/2021drill andsrcity.org/August17Exercise.
Doug Bunnell, county communications specialist
Media: [email protected]
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
City of Santa Rosa
Media: [email protected]
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