Santa Rosa is boosting its ability to notify residents when a fire breaks out through weather radios. The battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio is common in the Midwest for tornado alerts. And it’s activated by the National Weather Service to deliver warnings.
"Over the last several years, we have been improving everything from how we respond to incidents to how we alert our community, and the distribution of NOAA Weather Radios to our residents here in Santa Rosa, is our next improvement that we have for those tools to alert and warn our community," Santa Rosa's Assistant Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthral said.
Lowenthral said that thanks to a federal FEMA grant of almost $320,000 and a grant matching program, the city will start distributing 12,000 free radios on April 7 to residents who live in areas most susceptible to the threat of wildfire. Lowenthal said there are a little over 9,000 homes and buildings in these high-risk areas.
"Hopefully, we'll catch a break this year. And for many more years to come, but we want our community to remain prepared," Lowenthral said.
After the initial distribution, the city of Santa Rosa will continue to give away the radios to other areas throughout the city in three additional phases.
If you live in Santa Rosa and want to know if you’re eligible for a radio, visit srcity.org