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After the Camp fire, we discuss how evacuation notification and protocols can be improved

PARADISE, CA - NOVEMBER 21:  A view of a business that was destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 21, 2018 in Paradise, California. Fueled by high winds and low humidity the Camp Fire ripped through the town of Paradise charring over 150,000 acres, killed at least 83 people and has destroyed over 18,000 homes and businesses. The fire is currently at 85 percent containment and hundreds of people still remain missing.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A view of a business that was destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 21, 2018 in Paradise, California.

According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly a third of the residents of Paradise who signed up for emergency alert phone calls didn’t receive them.

According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly a third of the residents of Paradise who signed up for emergency alert phone calls didn’t receive them.

Instead, many residents said they relied on word-of-mouth and the sight of flames approaching. As the fires spread over Paradise, they blacked out cell phone towers and those who were able to use landlines filled them up to capacity. And once residents did start the evacuation process, there were issues with traffic and transit.

The evacuations process in the Camp fire underscored the limitations in wireless communication alert systems, as well as issues surrounding evacuation transit and education.

What can be improved for the future?

Guests:

Kelly Huston, deputy director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Frances Edwards, professor and deputy director of the National Transportation Security Center at San Jose State University

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