A fraction of the town of Paradise, CA was alerted before the Camp Fire reduced it to ashes.
That’s because the Butte County Sheriff’s Department decided to use what experts say is an outdated system — called Code Red — to notify residents of danger with a phone call.
Greater Spokane Emergency Management uses the same system, Alert Spokane.
In order to receive emergency notifications from Alert Spokane, people must sign up. According to GSEM, around 10,000 of Spokane County’s half-a-million people are signed up for these alert notifications.
But there is another emergency notification system Spokane County is capable of using, and it doesn’t require people to sign up. It’s called Wireless Emergency Management (WEA) and is designed for extreme circumstances.