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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Emergency Notifications

Most states and localities  have some sort of Emergency Alert System.  It may be a tornado siren or a TV or radio alert that interrupts your regular programming.

California has a system that goes a bit further.  It is called the Emergency Digital Information System (EDIS).  It is a system where you can receive an alert via an email message.  What is nice, is that you can get an alert sent to your cell phone as well.

The system allows you to select the specific county for which you want alerts - in some cases, allowing you to choose specific cities.  You can also select the type and severity of emergency about which you're notified.

For instance, you can choose to receive an alert that occurs in any of the 9 Bay Area counties for a chemical, meteorological or transportation emergency.  You can decide if you want to know if it is of an Extreme, Severe, Moderate, Minor or Unknown severity.  You can select one or all of them.

Having these alerts sent to your cell phone will allow you to know about emergencies that happen while you are away from home.  These alerts could be life-savers.

Accept The Challenge

Emergencies don't always occur when we're safely inside of our homes.  Getting as much advanced notice of an emergency that may affect you or a family member can be crucially important.

Start with a Google search of your area's emergency alert system.  I had the best results when starting on the county basis - doing a Google search of 'Contra Costa County emergency alerts'.  Drill down to find out which ways you can receive notification.

If your area does not appear to have a program, search for your local CERT - Community Emergency Response Team (national site with state links here).  Let them know you think an alert program would be a good idea.  Send them a link to the California system as an example of what can work.

Copyright 2009 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Anonymous said...

All we have here is the state emergency radio broadcast. I have a radio that was made solely to receive it. When the broadcast goes on, the radio kicks on and stays on. If you are driving in your car, the state emergency broadcast overrides all programming in Georgia and transmits on all listening frequencies.

Andrea said...

We have the TV alerts...but even better, my husband and the neighbor a few houses down both have the horns off a couple of unfortunate long-horn cattle. Now THAT's a bullhorn! There's quite a bit of transmitting going on betwixt our homes, totally under the radar LOL.

Chief Instructor said...

Hermit, I need to look into that. We must have something along those lines. Great... more research ;-)

Andrea, the TV alerts are what we seem to have the most. Our weather is fairly benign, so if they get to break in because of a bit of snow, they do so! Sadly, most of the time, they're for Amber Alerts - little kids that have been snatched.

The horn, now THERE'S an idea. I could go back to my ancestral roots - mostly German - and get one of those Alpine horns. That would get someone's attention!