San Bernardino Residents Can Sign Up for Emergency Alerts Via Text Message and VoIP
San Bernardino County – New features of the County’s emergency notification system will allow public safety personnel to reach more residents than ever before during disasters.
The Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) uses listed and unlisted numbers in the region’s 911 database to alert residents of life-threatening emergencies and San Bernardino County updates this database every six months. TENS is a proven success, and has placed hundreds of thousands of calls during wildfire and flood events since its creation in 2004. However, the 9-1-1 database only includes landline telephones, so other numbers must be registered. If a resident wishes to receive an emergency alert text message on their cell phone or an emergency call on their Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone they must register the number in the system. San Bernardino County has provided a website for residents to sign up for this new feature: http://my.sbcounty.gov/Tens/TensContact.aspx. The website is also accessible from the County’s home page at www.sbcounty.gov or from the home pages of the County Fire and Sheriff’s departments at www.sbcfire.org or www.sbcsd.org.
TENS is only used in potentially life-threatening incidents such as an evacuation during a wildfire or earthquake. When the County deems it necessary to activate TENS, it will call the numbers in the 9-1-1 landline database in the affected area, and another separate alert will also go out via text message to the cell phones of those residents who have signed up for these alerts. In addition, a call will also be placed to any VoIP numbers that have been registered. The TENS system is currently TTY and TDD capable, however, residents who use these devices are encouraged to enter their numbers using this new feature so that the County can ensure they receive a message appropriate for their device.
“Residents have expressed an interest in receiving alerts on their cell phones and I’m pleased to announce that we are providing that service,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Ovitt. “Since many households do not have landlines these days, we hope that this additional method will go further towards alerting residents and enhancing the overall safety of even more San Bernardino County citizens.”
To sign up, please visit www.sbcounty.gov and click on the “Sign Up for Emergency Notification Alerts” icon. Thanks to the partnership with San Bernardino County’s 2-1-1 Social Services Hotline, residents who do not have internet access may register by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-888-435-7565 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information please contact: Megan Blaney
Public Information Officer
San Bernardino County Fire Department