BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners ask everyone to get serious about wildfire preparedness. "The death toll in Maui is over 106, I believe. This is something I always worry about," Commissioner Patti Adair said at Wednesday's meeting, "I’m reaching out to all the community to please sign up for alerts. Now, I know it’s not a good idea to sleep with your phone right next to you, but just in case something happens. And the wind is blowing; clearly it’s when the wind is blowing - makes things all different."
Sign of for Deschutes Alerts HERE. The County tested the system in May, with around 45-thousand people registered. Adair says thousands more still need to get connected. "You can sign up to receive phone calls, text messages, emails and more, based on your location." Deschutes Alerts is most commonly used for wildfire evacuation warnings, but can also send notices of nearby law enforcement activity. Commissioner Tony DeBone says the state is working to ensure every county has a similar system in place. Find other counties' emergency alert systems HERE.
Commissioner Phil Chang says prevention work is also needed, "There are the other 364 days of the year when the fire isn’t burning, where we should be doing everything we can to make our homes more resilient, to implement defensible space around our homes and to address fuel loads on the public lands and in industrial and large private forestland ownerships."
They also asked people to help neighbors who might not be able to do that defensible space work on their own, or who aren’t tech savvy and need help signing up for Deschutes Alerts.