As we’ve seen over the past decade or so with extreme drought conditions throughout many parts of the country, major wildfires make headlines on a regular basis. Colorado recently had several active wildfires blazing simultaneously and 2 counties were so badly affected the Governor has requested a presidential major disaster declaration; in Arizona, 19 heroic firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
In California alone, from January 1 through July 13, 2013 there have been a total of 3,719 wildfires, with 77 of them being a major incident. One of which is the massive Mountain Fire that started on July 15th and has thus far consumed over 27,000 acres – 42 square miles – and led to an evacuation order for around 6,000 residents, which has since been lifted. Nearly 3,000 fire personnel were on the scene fighting the inferno and they have it around 68% contained.
The unpredictable nature of wildfires and the fact that even the slightest change in wind can be a determining factor on whether an evacuation order is issued, creates a special challenge for agencies on the ground trying to coordinate those evacuations with other public safety departments.
Agencies utilizing an Emergency Notification System with real-time two way communications have the ability to more effectively coordinate critical functions between all of the departments involved in these disaster situations, such as fire personnel, law enforcement and other public safety officials – even with local utility companies, e.g. to shut off gas lines, etc.
Rapid mass messaging capabilities would allow agencies – in one click – to quickly issue an evacuation order to all of its citizens, even fire personnel if conditions become too dangerous. Officials would also be able to easily notify citizens when evacuation orders have been lifted.
In unpredictable situations like a wildfire, when decisions have to be made on the fly and conditions change from moment to moment, the continual and rapid exchange of information can literally spell the difference between life and death.
If you would like a customized free online demonstration to see for yourself how Regroup can enable your organization to more effectively coordinate evacuations during any type of disaster, as well as more efficiently communicate on a Day-to-Day basis, call us at (775) GRO-UP10 or REGISTER HERE.