"TENS" will be able to send a message to every person's home and cell phone during an emergency.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger greeted local law enforcement, emergency services and public service officials when he arrived in Visalia Thursday morning. Minutes later, he announced that $2 million in homeland security funds will soon be distribute among the 17 California counties that don't have a phone alert system for local emergencies, such as flooding or wild fires. Kings and Tulare counties are among those getting the new system.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says, "We will soon be able to supply immediate life-saving information to residents in every county in California before, during and after a disaster or an emergency." Schwarzenegger said the notification system was a vital tool during the 2006 Esperanza fires, and more recently the Summit Fire in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Governor Schwarzenegger says, "This includes instructions, evacuation orders and other notifications." Officials say the "TENS" system can be used to alert a specific part of town or an entire city or county.
Tulare County Fire Captain, John Crivello, says, "The ability to notify residents by geographical area using computer interface technology that goes to major cell phones and various forms of outreach to the community that give those vital instructions to the residents of which danger areas to avoid."
State officials say the phone system will be especially helpful for the dozens of rural towns across the South Valley.
Paul Smith, Regional Council of Rural Counties says, "These resources will help provide the infrastructure to ensure Californians - whether they live in the most remote areas or they live in the most urbanized areas - have an emergency notification system that is vital for their community."