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Plan To Alert People To Emergency Power Shutoffs Due To Wildfire Danger Gets Key Approval

With high brush fire season here on the Central and South Coasts, public safety power shutoffs are a possibility.  A plan by two state senators from the region intended to give the community more warning that shutoffs may be coming has passed a key hurdle.

The proposal allows cities, and universities to automatically enroll residents in emergency alert systems unless the individual wants to opt out.  It sets up a program to verify phone numbers and e-mails so people can be reached. 

And, it allows government agencies to send out specialized alerts for at risk people like the elderly and those with disabilities.

The State Senate passed SB 294, which was co-authored by Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara and Democratic State Senator Henry Stern of Calabasas.  It now goes to the State Assembly for consideration.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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