SACRAMENTO COUNTY — Did you get a test alert on your phone or in your email Tuesday morning?
If not, you may want to read on.
FOX40 spoke with Mary Jo Flynn-Nevins, the Emergency Operations Coordinator for Sacramento County, about how you can opt into a system that could provide life-saving information in the event of a disaster.
It’s a recording many of us are familiar with but never think we’ll have to use.
This week, the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services tested their alert system.
And officials here say the regularly scheduled test actually comes at a good time.
“We’ve got some significant weather coming Wednesday and Thursday. In 2017, we used this alert system to notify people of disaster notifications and specifically, evacuation notifications due to flooding,” said Flynn-Nevins.
But with nearly 700,000 households in the Sacramento region, they say not enough people are signed up to receive the emergency alerts right now.
“Only about 100,000 are opted into the system, so it’s not even a third of what we really need to get to have the entire county notified,” Flynn-Nevins said.
Registering takes just a few minutes online and it could be the difference between life and death.
Officials recommend you register multiple addresses because the system uses geolocation to send out the alerts.
“A disaster happens at your work location, but you only put in your home location, you won’t receive that alert location, so put in the addresses that matter to you,” Flynn-Nevins stated.
Just receiving the alert isn’t enough though.
After you follow the instructions and get to a safe place, you should check in with friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they got the alert as well.
But officials say it’s better to text your friends and family rather than give them a call.
“We don’t actually want people calling other people in a disaster. We would prefer that they use text messaging. Calling during a disaster actually ties up the phone system a little bit more,” Flynn-Nevins said.
To register for the emergency alert system, visit the site: Sacramento-Alert.org.
You can login from your phone or computer and it only takes a few minutes.
If you do not opt into the system, you will not receive the emergency alerts.