Testing, testing: Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services to conduct Code Red alert signal August 15 | TheUnion.com

Testing, testing: Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services to conduct Code Red alert signal August 15

Sheriff Captain Jeff Pettitt looks over emergency alert signal information in a packet created by the county's office of emergency services. At 10 a.m. Aug. 15 those who have signed up for Code Red will receive a test alert from the county.
Submitted photo by Sheila Cameron


Sign up for alerts online at ReadyNevadaCounty.org/EmergencyAlert; text ReadyNevadaCounty to 99411; or call 211 or 1-833-DIAL211

At 10 a.m. Aug. 15 phones will be buzzing — or ringing.

That’s because Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services will be taking the moment to test their Code Red emergency alert signal, and to encourage more residents to sign up for the alerts, according to Sheila Cameron, communications contractor for the office.

“It’s a critically important aspect of the entire countywide preparedness strategy,” she said.

Cameron said the county wanted to set the alert during the work day when people are busy (as to mimic a real-life situation) and before late August, when the number of red flag days increase.

“We don’t want to confuse it with an actual emergency,” she said, adding that the alert will not endure past the initial message. Truckee will have a separate emergency alert system that will be tested the same day.

Chris Espedal, the director of school safety for the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, sent fliers to superintendents and principals asking to inform teachers of the Code Red testing date and time. Teachers will be instructed by administrators how to manage their classrooms during the testing, said Espedal.

Many elementary, middle and high school students will be having conversations in their classrooms about wildfire preparedness, and what they plan to do in case of an emergency, she said.

The director of school safety noted that there is no set plan for students in case of a wildfire — it is contingent on the dynamics of the emergency.

“Everything is based on what they hear, what they see and what they know,” she said of school administrators.

Espedal hopes the county initiative incentivizes students to become more prepared in case a wildfire erupts.

“We absolutely want students to have the alerts as well,” she said.

Cameron said county residents have already begun signing up for emergency alerts in higher numbers recently, adding to an already high sign-up rate.

“We take care of each other and we take care of ourselves,” she said. “It’s sort of a deeper connectedness.”

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.

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