The Rices Fire broke out around 2 pm in the afternoon and soon after confusion also started to break out as evacuation order and warnings went into effect. KNCO and other media outlets began announcing evacuation zones, and apparently many people hearing the alerts did not know what zone they lived in. People began overloading systems trying to learn how to find their zone. County Analyst Heather Heckler reminds residents there are two parts to the communication system. CODE RED is the system that sends the notification to phone numbers and email addresses that are connected to an address within an affected zone.
Heckler says there is a helpful visual on ReadyNevadaCounty.org/EmergencyAlerts to clarify different alerts.
A second important tool, Zonehaven, identifies which zone your home address, or any address you enter, is located. By knowing the zones you are most frequently in, you can quickly identify if the evacuation or emergency is affecting you. There is also the hi-lo siren which is only used by law enforcement.
Heckler says it is important to know that the two systems are independent of each other. You may know your zone, but without signing up for Code Red you will not get a notification. On the flip side, if you may receive a code red notification listing zones that are under evacuation- and you may not know for sure which zone is yours.
Zonehaven itself does not send out alerts.
Heckler also says that if your home was lost or damaged as a result of the Rices Fire you can also call 2-1-1 Nevada County to get connected with a disaster recovery specialist.