LAFD Conducts Hollywood Hills Evacuation Drill, Tests Mobile Phone Alerts

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The Los Angeles Fire Department performed a public training exercise in the Hollywood Hills on Saturday morning, accompanied by alerts sent to mobile phones throughout the area, the department said.

The drill came as the National Weather Service issued a fire weather watch in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The training simulated the voluntary, mock evacuation order of three neighborhoods, similar to what would occur if there was a real wildfire or emergency situation, the department said. The training was for select streets in Los Feliz, Hollywood and Hollywood Hills West.

The community exercise also tested neighborhood notifications through a text message sent to all wireless phones in the area of the drill at approximately 10 a.m., according to LAFD.

"We have our officers going to these different neighborhoods where we're doing this evacuation drill, we're knocking on doors and we're also utilizing the wireless alert network to test these systems and prepare these officers and these community members for if we do have a real brush fire, if we really do have to evacuate, what you can expect," said LAFD Deputy Chief Justin Eisenberg. "It's a great experience for the officers as well as the community."

The mobile phone alerts are a part of the nationwide Wireless Emergency Alerts system that warns the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations in their neighborhood through notifications on their cell phones.

"One of the most important things that we're trying to accomplish today is bridging that information gap," said LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan.

To sign up for NotifyLA and Nixle emergency messages from the City of Los Angeles, visit the city's website. To receive LAFD ALERT messages, visit the department's site.

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