MENDOCINO Co., 9/12/18 -- Sonoma County is conducting a test of their emergency warning and alert system today, which may result in some people in Mendocino County getting the warning. Because we share cell-towers, radio stations, and other pieces of important communications infrastructure, the warning might read many people in Mendo.
Calls will go out to cellphones between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. today. It marks the first wireless emergency alert test every conducted on the West Coast, according to Sonoma County officials.
So heads up, it's only a test.
Here's all the information from Sonoma County:
What to Expect
September 10, 2018: Phone Call
Around 6 PM, Sonoma County called all SoCoAlert subscribers and landlines. If you missed the call, a voicemail should have been left. Calling back will play the message again.
Sign up for SoCoAlert at www.SoCoAlert.com.
September 12, 2018: Mobile Alert, Radio and Television Interruptions
Sonoma County will send Wireless Emergency Alerts between 10 AM and 12 noon, to:
- Glen Ellen/Kenwood
The alert should display on all compatible mobile devices with a special tone and vibration, and a brief text notification.
Local radio and television will broadcast a test message using the Emergency Alert System around 12 noon.
When posting information about this test, please tag us by using #SoCoReady
- Test warning systems used to communicate to residents (including individuals with access or functional needs and Spanish speaking communities), across five different geographic, demographic and population density areas.
- Ensure the ability to communicate with emergency response agencies and affected populations.
- Identify any gaps in the existing systems, and make improvements for a safer, more prepared County.
Geographical Area Selection
As a part of the test, five geographical areas were chosen that represent a different threat hazard, topography, demographics and urban densities.
- Guerneville – Selected due to a river flood hazard scenario. Is in a mountainous area with a somewhat rural community in the unincorporated area.
- Glen Ellen/Kenwood – Selected due to a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) hazard scenario. The area is part of the valley floor with rural communities in the unincorporated area.
- Healdsburg – Selected to test the entire city boundary. It has multiple hazards with a high tourist population area.
- Penngrove – Selected due to a train accident/hazardous materials release threat scenario. The target area is small and linear within the unincorporated area.
- Roseland – Selected as a community within a city. It is an urban setting with high population density. This target area has significant Spanish speaking population.
We are taking a multipronged approach to evaluate this test.
We will be asking the public to participate in an online survey. This link will be sent out in the test messaging. The survey will ask questions like where the user was, when they received the alert, what their mobile carrier is, what their mobile operating system is and provide the ability to share questions or concerns.
Staff from local first responder agencies, cities, special districts and volunteers will be strategically placed throughout the County to provide feedback. These field observers will be placed within and outside the testing areas.
A random sampling will be conducted to capture people who did not receive the alert as well as those who did. This assessment will ask if the person knew about the test prior to September 12 and if they received the alert.