County Launches Mass Emergency Notification System

Pierce County ALERT is the newest tool for mass emergency notifications in Pierce County. Powered by Everbridge, this new system utilizes the 9-1-1 landline database for emergency notifications and can also use the ‘white pages’ for community alerts to landlines, giving the Department of Emergency Management more options for reaching residents and businesses in the area. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 survey on cell phone use in the United States found that 25 percent of the population uses cell phones only – having no home landline phone at all. This fact makes the new Pierce County ALERT system even more imperative, as the landline database only reaches 75 percent of the population in any area.

How does it work?

The system also allows individuals that live, go to school and work in the area the opportunity to ‘opt-in’ their alternative electronic devices. People can sign up to get alerts on a cell phone, work phone, text message, e-mail, home phone and more. There is also a choice to receive alerts regarding locations of interest – emergencies that may affect a residence, workplace, child’s school, or other areas as long as those locations are within the boundaries of Pierce County. Businesses benefit when their employees opt-in because wherever they are, information can be relayed to their employees about Pierce County emergencies.

The system will be used to notify residents and businesses about significant risks to health and safety. Public safety officials can send alerts about emergencies such as severe weather, floods, utility disruptions, or critical police activity. Emergency alerts may be sent 24 hours a day based on severity.

If a person has a landline, whether or not they ‘opt-in,’ they will still receive an emergency notification on the landline phone. If a person does ‘opt-in,’ they will receive an emergency notification on their landline phone as well as all the other devices they have listed and in the order they prefer.

Residents and businesses in Pierce County can ‘opt-in’ on the internet, by phone, or by mail. The preferred method is on the internet, by accessing the Pierce County ALERT button at the bottom of the Pierce County government’s home page, and following the opt-in instructions. People can also call the Department of Emergency Management at 253-798-6595 and register over the phone, or they can fill out the information in a flyer and send it in to Pierce County Emergency Management, 2501 S. 35th St., Suite D in Tacoma, 98409. Up to 10 different electronic devices can be registered – cell phone, fax, pager, text message, e-mail, business phone, or home phone. If device numbers change, a person can go back into their account and update their own information.

The information provided by individuals and businesses will not be accessed by Pierce County government. Individual information cannot be given or sold to any vendor or any other organization.

Pierce County ALERT Fact Sheet (PDF)

Sign Up for Pierce County ALERT

Pierce County ALERT is a free service that allows you to sign up and receive notifications about emergencies that may affect the locations you care about. This service allows fire, police and other agencies dealing with emergency response to send out accurate and up-to-date information that they feel residents should be informed on.

Receive alerts on up to 10 different devices such as your cell phone, home phone, email, text messages and more. Choose up to five locations you want to be notified about such as your residence, workplace, children’s school and more.

Sign up online or call (253) 798-6595.
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