SAN JOSE, Calif. - A series of community meetings in San Jose kicks off Wednesday night to seek public input and to lay out new plans to deal with potential flooding this winter.
Deputy City Manager Kip Harkness and Council Member Raul Peralez will be joined by Vice Chair Richard Santos of the Santa Clara Valley Water District to unveil a new Joint Emergency Action Plan that includes a color-coded system for alerting the public depending on the severity of the imminent danger.
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An additional goal is to motivate residents, whether they live along creeks or not, to get prepared to evacuate quickly. The North Bay fires and the Bear Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains underscore the importance of that, whether it's a fire or a flood, says Deputy City Manager Harkness.
The concern is that people quickly forget about the need to prepare for evacuations, says the Water District's Santos. He says they should be ready with their medications, clothing, an escape route, and even a pre-arranged safe place to stay, such as a relative's house.
A key exercise at Wednesday night's meeting and two others is having the public rank 12 ways of communicating warnings. The list includes notifications by social media, radio, TV, loudspeakers, Alert SCC, and even door-to-door knocks. San Jose has purchased mobile trailers with an exceptionally loudspeaker system that can penetrate walls with messages in multiple languages. Additional units are being considered for installation in flood-prone neighborhoods. "There's no way you can ignore it," says Harkness.
Wednesday night's meeting will be held in the community room at the Golden Wheel mobile home park on Golden Wheel Drive off Oakland Road in San Jose.The second meeting will be on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Franklin-McKinley School District offices at 645 Wool Creek Drive in San Jose from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The third meeting will be on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 2nd-floor community room, at 150 E. San Fernando St. in San Jose from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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