The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is utilizing a new way to alert the public when it is time to evacuate. All Sheriff patrol vehicles are now equipped with the Hi/Lo siren, a European style 2-tone siren, that will only be used to alert residents of an immediate evacuation during emergencies such as wildfires, floods and other disasters.
The implementation of the Hi-Lo siren was made possible through California Senate Bill 909, following the devastating Tubbs Fire in 2017 during which it was determined first responders needed a new way to alert the community of immediate evacuation orders.
Due to recent wildfires in and near Humboldt County prompting wildfire evacuations, the Hi-Lo Siren is a welcomed tool to assist in public safety during evacuation emergencies.
“We have already seen statewide and here locally how wildfires can grow quickly, putting people in dangers way,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “The Hi-Lo siren will allow deputies to quickly alert large areas that are in immediate danger.”
In addition to utilizing the Hi-Lo siren, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office also uses Humboldt Alert, the county’s emergency alert system, to notify residents of emergency situations. Both Humboldt Alert and the Hi-Lo siren will be used to alert residents of an emergency evacuation order. Humboldt Alert is also used to notify residents of evacuation warnings, downgrades and police activity impacting public safety. Humboldt Alert is an opt-in system, meaning residents must sign up to receive the alerts. To sign up for Humboldt Alert, visit humboldtgov.org/alerts.
The community is encouraged to prepare their homes and families for the impact of wildfire. To learn how you can get prepared, visit humboldtsheriff.org/oes or readyforwildfire.org.
The Sheriff’s Office reminds residents to always use your best judgement during an emergency. If you hear the Hi-Lo, it’s time to go!