The state is proposing an update of emergency warning procedures for the public in the wake of several major disasters, including the 2018 Montecito debris flow. The guidelines developed by the State Office of Emergency Services would establish a uniform set of emergency alert protocols.
Currently, counties set their own guidelines. State emergency management officials say the string of recent disasters like wildfires has highlighted inconsistencies in alert and warning programs. For instance, not all counties have programs to send out Spanish language information during a crisis.
The 85 page report has just been released to officials at the county level. Implementing the proposed guidelines isn’t mandatory, but a state senator introduced a bill which would withhold emergency management grants to counties which don’t comply.