Sheriff's office plans county-wide alert test

April 3, 2014 

Sheriff John Anderson is planning a county-wide emergency alert test on May 15.

If you haven’t signed up with MCAlert.org yet, Sheriff Anderson strongly urges the public do so now.

In light of what weather forecasters expect to be a long hot summer, and with the serious drought conditions we now face, it is imperative for all property owners, part time residents, and business owners to register with MCAlert.org, so that you will know if and when disaster strikes.

“Since the system allows us to send you alerts via email, or cell phone, where you are when an alert is issued is no longer an issue,” says Sheriff Anderson. “We can reach you no matter where you are, but only if you have signed up.”

With the extreme fire conditions expected this summer, the Sheriff’s Office made a number of critical upgrades to the County's Emergency Notification System so that we can reach those who may be in danger within a matter of minutes, alerting them about warnings and evacuation information if needed.

The purpose for the May 15, emergency test is two-fold: First, to inform and demonstrate the system’s new capabilities; Second: to find out which areas of the county are not responding.

Emergency alerts are issued when areas within our county are in danger, be it from natural or manmade disasters. MCAlert.org enables Madera County Sheriff's Office and Madera Office of Emergency Services to provide citizens with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, evacuations, law enforcement activity and notifications of nearby threats such as fires.

You can choose how you want to receive these time-sensitive alerts – home and/or business landline, cell phone, email, text message and hearing impaired receiving devices. The service is free, and the public’s participation is imperative. With the assistance of Everbridge, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office implemented several key tenets in the MCAlert system.

The ability to reach you however you choose – the systems allows for more than 30 different contact paths. The ability to reach any size of the population -- a small group of people, or the whole county nearly instantly. The ability to allow citizens to communicate back with the sender to provide valuable mission critical information through a smart phone app.

Sheriff Anderson says the system allows for news agencies to sign up as well. They can now receive the same alerts at the same time we issue them to you. Historically, news agencies have provided vital assistance to emergency responders in getting the word out. But now, by including news organizations in MCAlert, they will be able to relay crucial and accurate information to the public quicker than before.

Whether you live or work in Madera, whether you own property in Madera County but reside elsewhere, or whether you have family members who reside in Madera County; everyone should sign up with MCAlert.org. All information you provide MCAlert in order to receive emergency notifications will never be shared. Your information is confidential information used for the sole purpose of issuing alerts to you if disaster strikes in regions of Madera County that may impact you.

There are two ways sign up: 1. Log onto www.MCAlert.org 2. If you do not have access to a Computer, please contact PIO Erica Stuart at 559-675-7770

Madera County Sheriff's Office

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