As I take in the news about the Camp Fire and how there are so many dead and missing, I've noted that it seems much of the life lost centers around a lack of early warning and inadequate evacuation plans. I have a few questions for our local government and first responders. Do we have a plan and, if so, how do we average citizens get to know that plan?
For example, I think I've registered for emergency alerts on my mobile phone, and I get Amber Alerts, but I don't recall getting notices about last year's very local fires. Also, I have a general evacuation plan for my family, but I don't know how that meshes with the potential evacuation of a whole city, like the size of Paradise or Auburn.
I naively assume there is a plan to alert and assist the evacuation of an city the size of Auburn, but I — personally me — don't know it. And, I assume I'm not alone in my ignorance. Might I make some suggestions?
Some nice articles in the Auburn Journal about how to sign up for alerts. Maybe local first responders could offer to assist or confirm that a phone is registered for alerts.
Maybe an article about the city's evacuation plan with pretty maps. Maybe something on the local police and fire websites.
Maybe displays and a booth at every fair and function in the county that are already attended to by local first responders.
Maybe, even pick a Saturday or Sunday and actually plan an evacuation drill. I'd be game; close off 49 to two-way traffic, coordinate with CHP to route onto the highway … you tell me. And, then keep doing this every year cause people come and go to our lovely town all the time.
I know that's a lot, but so is 63 dead in the Camp Fire as I write this letter.
Bill Boyce, Auburn