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Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Seeks Comments on Statewide Emergency Alert and Warning Guidelines

Comments due by Aug. 31

July 26, 2019
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) has released its voluntary statewide alert and warning guidelines.
 
This document is the result of SB 833 (McGuire), a bill supported by the League, which required CalOES, in consultation with various stakeholders, to develop guidelines for alerting and warning the public of an emergency. This legislation also directs CalOES to consult with the League and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) in the creation of this resource.

Additionally, SB 833 authorizes CalOES to impose conditions on applications for the voluntary Emergency Performance Grant Program (EMPG) that would require applicants to operate alert and warning systems that are consistent with these guidelines. The purpose of the EMPG Program is to provide federal grants to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to support comprehensive preparedness for all hazards. EMPG funding totals $350,100,000 for fiscal year 2019. 

Recent disasters in California have highlighted the differences and inconsistencies among various alert and warning programs across the state. These guidelines both enable and encourage the consistent application of alert and warning best practices, procedures, and protocols. This would prove beneficial for jurisdictions that are implementing or having difficulty maintaining alert and warning resources.

CalOES is accepting comments and feedback on these regulations until Aug. 31. These comments will be considered by the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) Alert and Warning Specialist Committee in September. If a city wishes to submit comments or has questions on the content of these regulations, please make those inquires to the CalOES emergency services coordinator for your respective county. The contact information for these individuals is available online.

If you do submit comments, please include Caroline Cirrincione, the League’s Legislative Policy Analyst who is currently covering these issues.


 
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