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FEMA grants Santa Rosa $1M to ensure effective evacuation routes

November 22, 2019

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted $1 million to the City of Santa Rosa for the installation of battery back-up systems to 175 traffic signals. Recent wildfires and Public Safety Power Shutoffs have highlighted the need to maintain established evacuation routes. When traffic signals lose power, intersections become four-way stops, dramatically slowing evacuations and increasing driver uncertainty.

Preservation of power to signals at critical traffic routes will improve public safety by ensuring orderly evacuations and reducing the number of police officers needed for traffic control or accident response. Once completed, critical traffic signals in the City of Santa Rosa will provide up to four hours of emergency functionality if power is unexpectedly interrupted.

The $1.4 million project will be funded by a $1 million hazard mitigation grant from FEMA, with non-federal sources covering the balance.

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps states, territories, federally recognized tribes, local communities and certain private, non-profit organizations become more resilient to potential infrastructure damage and reduce future disaster costs. In the past 30 years, FEMA has invested nearly $1.3 billion to reduce disaster risks in California.