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Tiburon, Belvedere agencies prep to hold drills using new online disaster tool

A free tool aimed at helping Marin neighborhoods and first responders better prepare for, react and respond to emergencies is now live, and local officials say they’re already planning practice drills to help familiarize Tiburon Peninsula residents with the new technology.

The online tool, Zonehaven, is a cloud-based application that provides live updates to residents and first responders about evacuation routes, traffic flow and roadway conditions during an emergency. It uses satellite images and other information to deliver real-time evacuation instructions to residents through mobile alerts and social media that can be adapted to the emergency at hand, such as wildfires, tsunamis and earthquakes.

As conditions change, such as the direction a wildfire is headed or a newly fallen tree across the road, evacuation routes can be quickly modified to safely redirect traffic and aid authorities in closing roads and turning streets into one-way evacuation corridors.

In an email, the Tiburon Fire Protection District’s deputy fire marshal, Mike Lantier, said his agency expects to collaborate with law enforcement on evacuation drills using the tool. Robert Zadnik, Belvedere’s emergency-preparedness coordinator said they’re tentatively planning for a communitywide training event, possibly later this fall or winter.

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