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By Sharan Street
Published Oct 02, 2023

Many regions in California were hit hard by the 2022-23 winter storms. In Sacramento, the losses came in the form of a thinning of the urban forest. Many regions in California were hit hard by the 2022-23 winter storms. In Sacramento, the losses came in the form of a thinning of the urban forest. Image credit: Eric Johnson

Connectivity in a Crisis

In the modern world of niche media and streaming entertainment, it’s not often that the citizens of the United States of America share a simultaneous experience. One such occurrence will take place this week, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, conducts a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System.

This is the seventh time that this system will be used. An updated version of the Emergency Broadcast System—which delivered those familiar bursts of electronic noise followed by “This is a test…”—the Wireless Emergency Alert will simultaneously send a message to all of the nation’s cell phones. This will happen on Oct. 4 at around 5:20 p.m. Pacific Time.

This imminent event got us thinking. No, we weren’t thinking about ridiculous conspiracy theories, though predictably some folks are. Instead we thought it was an opportune time to contemplate the value of a smartphone in an emergency situation.

Making Radio Waves

This week we’re posting checklists for each of the counties we cover, offering information on resources that can help you stay safe during a local emergency. Each checklist is topped with a link to the county’s office of emergency services and specifics on how to sign up for local alerts. Counties may use different tech platforms to get the word out, but the end result is the same: real-time information dispensed simultaneously to your family, friends and neighbors. These are messages that could literally be lifesavers.

Many communities in California are lucky enough to have groups of local citizens who prepare not only to take care of themselves during a disaster but also to protect others. They form Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to assist first responders, train to do search and rescue, or form ham radio groups. California Local reporter Kimberly Hickok shares the story of how one such group of radio enthusiasts in the disaster-prone Santa Cruz Mountains works to keep the lines of communication open.

Listening Skills

Members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service hone their skills at various local events.
How local amateur radio operators can help in the next big emergency.

Where to Get Emergency Information in Yolo County

Be prepared for the next natural disaster by loading up your smartphone with digital resources that will help you stay informed.

Disaster Prep: Alerts, Maps and Apps

Yolo County faces significant flooding risk, particularly the city of West Sacramento, located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers.
When disaster strikes, you’ll need to have these information resources available on your smartphone.

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Yolo County's Homepage

Our overview page for Yolo County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
Direct your browser to to catch up on the latest news in California and Yolo County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!

Get to Know a Group

Big Brothers Big Sisters logo Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brother Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported mentorship. The chapter serves Sacramento and Yolo counties, as well as southern Placer County.

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From Our Media Allies

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The Dirt logo New Gorman Museum Opens

Doors are open at the brand-new Gorman Museum of Native American Art at UC Davis, a space that is much larger and much more easily accessible.

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Recent Local News

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• City of Davis and Spin E-bikes Launch Program for Shared Bikes and Scooters

The initiative is being launched with the goal of making micromobilty transportation options more readily available in the city of Davis.

(10/02/2023) → The California Aggie

• Sacramento Lowriding Community Tells Its Story in New Exhibit

The show at the Sacramento History Museum, titled “Boulevard Dreams,” runs through Jan. 21.

(09/29/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Winters Council Censures Councilmember, Introduces Acting City Manager

Councilmember Richard Casavecchia was censured by the Winters City Council with a 4-0-1 vote on Sept. 19. Additionally he was removed from his committee assignments for six months.

(09/29/2023) → Winters Express

• Winters Council Approves Walnut 10 Improvements

Walnut Lane 10, a subdivision in Winters with 54 lots, has taken one step closer to being ready for occupation.

(09/29/2023) → Winters Express

• How Does Student Government at UC Davis Affect You?

ASUCD senators discuss goals and student engagement opportunities for the new school year.

(09/28/2023) → The California Aggie

• New Members Join the Davis Planning Commission

Three have joined the Davis Planning Commission: Alan Bennett, director of the public intellectual property resource for agriculture at UC Davis; Vince McLaughlin, a longtime attorney who also has a broker's license; and Johannes Troost, formerly on the city’s Utilities Commission and the Finance and Budget Commission.

(09/28/2023) → Read the full Davis Enterprise report

• Businesses, Organizations Represent Yolo County at Farm-to-Fork Festival

Although Sacramento is considered the Farm-to-Fork Capital, its designation is largely due to its proximity to agricultural hubs such as Yolo County.

(09/27/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Developer Files Suit Against Davis Over Interpretation of Builder’s Remedy

Developer David Taormino has filed a lawsuit against the city of Davis, over what he contends is the city's refusal to process his housing project Palomino Place despite being under a state requirement to approve such projects.

(09/26/2023) → Read the full Silicon Valley Business Journal report

• Snack Drive to Benefit Clients of Public Defender, Probation

The Yolo County Public Defender’s Office and Probation Department are partnering on a snack drive to build non-perishable pantries in their offices to benefit their shared clients.

(09/26/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Superintendent Denounces Bomb Threats

Davis Joint Unified School District Superintendent Matt Best sent a letter to families, staff and students on Monday following yet another bomb threat laced with anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric.

(09/25/2023) → Davis Vanguard

• Sacramento’s Creation District Uplifts Black, Brown and Queer Unhoused Youth

A piano sits in the middle of a room lined with posters welcoming visitors of the Creation District in Midtown.

(09/25/2023) → CapPublicRadio
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Recent Statewide News

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• California May Ban Additives in Some Candies—But Not Skittles

The European Union has banned certain additives that are used in American candies and baked goods. California is on the cusp of prohibiting their sale by 2027.

(10/02/2023) → CalMatters

• The Bay-Delta Ecosystem is Collapsing. Now California Has Dueling Plans to Save It

A long-awaited, controversial report weighs updates to standards that state officials say have failed to protect fish and wildlife. But environmentalists, Native tribes and others already are furious about how long this has taken—and the state is years away from taking action.

(09/28/2023) → CalMatters

• When Your Abuser Has the Key to Your Cell

Survivors who were sexually assaulted while imprisoned got an audience at the state Capitol, sharing their stories while testifying at a California Legislative Women’s Caucus briefing about abuse by staff at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.

(09/26/2023) → The Sacramento Observer
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Upcoming Government Meetings

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Event sponsor logo City of Woodland / Library Board of Trustees
Monday October 2 2023   4:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / Open Space and Habitat Commission
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / Police Accountability Commission
Monday October 2 2023   6:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / SPECIAL MEETING: City Council
Tuesday October 3 2023   5:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Woodland / City Council
Tuesday October 3 2023   6:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Winters / City Council & Planning Commission Meetings
Tuesday October 3 2023   6:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / City Council
Tuesday October 3 2023   6:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / Tree Commission
Wednesday October 4 2023   5:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of West Sacramento / City Council
Event sponsor logo City of Woodland / Planning Commission
Thursday October 5 2023   6:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / Finance and Budget Commission
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / Planning Commission
Wednesday October 11 2023   7:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / Bicycle Advisory and Safety and Parking Advisory Commissions
Thursday October 12 2023   5:30 PM