Testing county Emergency Alert System

Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney is planning a county-wide emergency alert test on May 1. In light of the major wildland fires the county experienced last summer, weather forecasters expecting another long hot summer, and with the serious drought conditions, Varney said it is imperative for all people who work or live within Madera County, especially those in the foothills, to register or update their information.

The County’s Emergency Alert System, also known as MCAlert, allows residents to update their personal profile or register from the comfort of their homes using the website MCAlert is used to update residents regarding emergency evacuation during the fire season. Varney believes this is fastest way for residents to be alerted to an evacuation. “Deputy sheriffs will still come to advise residents but that takes time. By signing up, you will help keep everyone in the community safer, including our deputies and firefighters,” stated Varney.

MCAlert is also used for other natural disasters such as floods, severe weather and missing persons, such as Amber or Silver Alerts when necessary. The system is free and Varney urges everyone who has not yet signed up, to do so before May 1 so they can participate in the county wide test. Varney said he is also placing booths at store fronts and public events for people to sign up and/or update their profile. At these booths will be Community Service Officers and Citizen’s on Patrol helping citizens to sign up. The sheriff also encourages residents to visit Cal Fire’s ready for wildfire website for tips regarding getting ready for the wildland fire season and evacuation prep kit information. Remember the six Ps during an evacuation:

People and Pets

Papers, phone numbers and important documents

Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses

Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia

Personal computers, hard drives and disk

Plastic (Credit Cards, ATM cards and cash)

The dates, time and locations to sign up for MCAlert are:

April 18, Raymond Parade, after events

April 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Raley’s

April 23, Town Hall Meeting, Coarsegold

April 25, 6-8 p.m., North Fork Fire barbecue

May 13, 1-4 p.m., Coarsegold Market

May 30, Bass Lake Triathlon, after events

June 18, 5-8 p.m., Oakhurst Farmers Market

July 16, 5-8 p.m., Oakhurst Farmers Market

August 20, 5-8 p.m., Oakhurst Farmers Market

- Madera County

Sheriff’s Department