It’s been a devastating wildfire season so far in 2018. West coast residents have been exposed to 16 major wildfires that have burned more than 300,000 acres. The size of these wildfires are particularly troubling, as are their proximity to inhabited communities.
Many residents are seeing their homes burn despite taking the recommended precautions (creating defensible space and using non-flammable building materials). In some cases, the flame wall can ignite homes from half a mile away, with embers flying above rivers and roads to set the homes ablaze.
One of the biggest challenges communities face in this life-or death situation is the race against time to inform residents to evacuate. Incredible resources are deployed to help prevent the spread of the fires, but far too many deaths occur due to a lack of timely communication (or any communication at all) going out to residents and others in harm’s way.
Traditional methods of communication lack the penetration necessary to alert all community members at the first sight of danger. News media, emails and community website alerts all help, but the average American may no longer consume these types of media, or at least not regularly enough to rely on sending emergency notifications with these methods.
PublicShield specializes in providing integrated and intuitive notification systems that work seamlessly with everyone’s smartphone, so receiving a notification is as easy as carrying your smartphone around with you… which nearly everyone does these days. Community members can rest knowing that they’re connected to their city officials. And city officials can easily send targeted notifications to residents depending on the current location of the fire (or other incident).
There’s no better way for cities and residents to stay connected and protected. Communication during wildfires can be the difference between timely evacuation and (deadly) inaction.