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Local, emergency alert system testing happening in Sacramento, Placer and Yolo Counties

The goal of today's test is to check the capacity of the system, educate the public on the need for the alert, and encourage residents to opt-in to receive the alert.

CALIFORNIA, USA — It’s only a test. I repeat, it’s only a test.

At 10 a.m., Sacramento, Placer and Yolo Counties will test its local, emergency alert system. Alerts will be received on the medium that the resident has opted into through Sacramento-Alert.org, Placer-Alert.org or Yolo-Alert.org. Alerts that may be received include recorded messages for phone calls, both cell and landline, and text-based messages for text and email alerts.

Steven Cantelme, Chief of Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services, said in light of recent regional natural disasters and emergencies, the alert system is a vital tool used to alert residents of dangers, evacuations and other critical information to their safety during an emergency. In Sacramento County, residents will receive alerts either from the County, if they live in unincorporated county, or from their jurisdictional city. The test will replicate a large-scale multi-jurisdictional emergency requiring thousands of numbers to be called simultaneously across the region.

The goal of today's test is to check the capacity of the system, educate the public on the need for the alert, and encourage residents to opt-in to receive the alert. 

“We would notify you as to what precautions to take, shelter in place, evacuations, stock up on water or food, batteries…that’s the kind of message that will go out,” Cantelme said.

Cantelme wants to remind everyone that the system can be used for man-made disasters, such as hazardous materials or terrorist threats. The alert system was actually used last week in Davis during an officer involved shooting. Cantelme believes it’s important for everyone to be prepared. 

“They may want to send out a message to the people that live in that area to either shelter in place or evacuate,” Cantelme said. So, that’s one of the main reasons we would use that. That’s how we would use in Sacramento as well."

The public may register at Sacramento-Alert.org or Placer-Alert.org or Yolo-Alert.org, depending on where they work, live or have children in school and want to receive alerts. Residents can sign-up for multiple addresses and devices in order to cover every geographical location they wish to receive alerts.

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