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Tahoe chief’s corner: Are you subscribed to readywashoe.com?

Mike Brown

Ready Washoe (www.readywashoe.com) is the regional emergency management website. It contains a link to our Regional Notification System.

Washoe County has partnered with the Cities of Reno and Sparks to institute a telephone notification system for use in times of crisis.

The system is known as “Code Red.” While no system can ever be guaranteed to be disaster proof, by using these three methods local officials make every effort to keep the public informed.

If you have an unlisted number, or wish to list your cell phone or work phone for emergency notification, fill out the form on the enrollment page by going to http://www.readywashoe.com.

When a crisis occurs, local public safety officials have three methods to alert the public:

1. Media press releases written by local government public information officers and delivered to local radio, television, newspapers and government webmasters.

2. The Emergency Alert System. This system is described in detail on this website. Messages are rebroadcast on radio and television.

3. The Code Red Notification System. This system uses a series of remote computers and telephone lines to relay a recorded message.

Do not confuse this service with other notification services, such as “AlertID.” Code Red notifies only the directly impacted citizens.

Prior to a disaster, each family must have a plan. You can begin this process by gathering family members and making sure each person is well-informed on potential hazards and community plans.

Discuss with them what you would do if family members are not home when a warning is issued. Additionally, your family plan should address the following:

Make A Plan: Create escape routes by drawing a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room. Also, establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency and evacuation.

Evacuation Plans: When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media, door-to-door notification or citizen telephonic notification system such as Code Red. To register and receive alerts via email, cell phone, text messaging, go to http://www.readywashoe.com and click on the “Get the Message” icon. You can also download Code Red application on your cell phone. You can also tune to 780 KOH AM radio. Additionally, there may be circumstances under which you and your family feel threatened or endangered and you need to leave your home, school, or workplace to avoid these situations. The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. Many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.

Assemble A Kit: You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.

Stay Informed: Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur in your neighborhood. Washoe County plans for 13 different hazards. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood.

“Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.


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