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Arizona preparing to take in California residents amid wildfires

Wildfires ravage Northern California
Posted at 4:56 PM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 20:21:13-04

PHOENIX — As wildfires in California Continue to grow, more and more people are being forced from their homes.

With 200,000 plus evacuees, could people head to Arizona in need of food and shelter? It's a scenario that actually has been trained for.

In-fact just last May, about 1,000 people from nearly 75 federal, state and local agencies got together and simulated what would happen if 400,000 people from a disaster in California headed to Arizona.

"It's a lot of things to consider and it's a lot of things to consider with a population that's nervous, that's maybe traumatized and how do we take care of that entire community just we do our community here in Arizona," said Colin Williams with the American Red Cross who participated in the drill.

The simulation focused on many aspects of a mass exit of California to Arizona. Such as establishing a fuel task force, strengthening the cellular network and identified highway rest areas as strong points to distribute water, food and guidance to evacuees.

"We're prepared for a mass influx of people from any of our neighboring states and we work with our neighboring states on a large level to be in anticipation of a moment just like this," said Williams.

In Arizona the State Emergency Response and Recovery Plan is the states all hazardous plan that would be called into action should a mass exit of California take place and is the plan that would become the playbook to outline what needs to be done and how to accomplish it.