At the May 15 Solano Fire Safe Council meeting, we heard from various partners and agency representatives about Solano County’s public alert & warning program and other situational awareness tools. These tools are summarized below, and we hope that this information helps you to access the information you need to know during a wildfire or other emergency. Be prepared by signing up for alerts and familiarizing yourself with these tools!
Alert Solano is a larger umbrella platform composed of several different communication tools to notify the public of important emergency information. The application Everbridge is the primary messaging platform which can send emergency alerts through text, email, phone call, and fax. These notifications are sent to residents when there is an imminent or potential threat to life and/or property. Another communication tool that is used is Nixle. Nixle is used to relay emergency information that applies to everyone within a zip code and generally used for incidents affecting a larger area. Solano OES uses an Integrated Public Alert System which can notify residents through Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Alert System (WAS). As always, technology can fail us at times and there is no replacement for a neighbor helping neighbor approach. Please feel empowered to notify your friends, family and loved ones in the event of an emergency. To learn more about Alert Solano visit alertsolano.com
Watch Duty is a free non-profit wildfire alerting, mapping, and tracking service that began in Sonoma County and has since spread through much of California and the Western United States. Watch Duty is mainly volunteer driven and the reporting comes from radio scanner traffic that is being monitored as well as information being provided by local fire personnel. This resource primarily covers vegetation fire and alerts residents through push notification if there is a threat to life or property. The interactive map allows the public to see active and past fires, as well as prescribed burns and air quality. Watch Duty is a great fire awareness tool that can be used by the public, first responders, landowners and many more. For more information, visit watchduty.org.
Pulse Point is a platform that was originally created to notify the public of cardiac arrest and offer a way for nearby CPR-certified individuals to aid community members in the event of a cardiac emergency. It has since morphed into a situational awareness tool that can be used to monitor all emergency calls, the location of the calls, responding agencies, and live radio communication. Pulse Point does not reveal any identifying information and uses visual icons to represent the different types of emergencies happening nearby. This resource does require payment by the involved counties which is based on the number of dispatch centers per population. Pulse Point is not currently being used in Solano County however a number of surrounding counties utilize this service, one of which being Yolo County. To learn more of Pulse Point visit pulsepoint.org.
ALERT California is an online platform which provides the public with 24 hour access to over 1,000 cameras around the state to monitor for wildfires. The 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County was a driving catalyst in creating this tool which is available in both mobile or desktop interface. The ability to visually monitor fire prone areas, especially along the Wildlife Urban Interface (WUI) is essential in being proactive in safety and infrastructure recovery. ALERT California is a great alert tool that is used by many different agencies such as PG&E as well as the public. To learn more about ALERT California, visit alertcalifornia.org.