Diversifying alert systems can help in emergency situations

CENTRAL POINT, Ore.– Jackson County Emergency Management is reminding everyone of the importance of alert systems as we move closer to fire season.

After last years deadly wildfire in Paradise, California, it’s important to know where to get quick and up to date information. The county says it’s not safe to rely on only one source for alerts like your phone.

In the case of Paradise, Emergency Manager Stacey Belt says that the fire was moving so quickly it was knocking out cell towers and melting fiber optic lines used to get alerts to peoples phones. While alerts were going out, many people weren’t receiving them because they were being cut off or the number wasn’t going to the direct line that person may use.

As such, Belt says its best to update contact information with your local alert system and don’t have all your eggs in one basket when it comes to where you get your alerts.

“Rely on others, radio, television, internet. We have to rely on our neighbors,” she said. “If you’re aware of an issue in your neighborhood, you need to let your neighbors know.”

The department suggests residents opt-in to Citizen Alert, Jackson County’s alert system, so it has their immediate and most up to date contact information. Emergency management does update the system twice a year by using White Pages but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the current address or number.

To learn how to opt-in you can go to the Citizen Alert page here.

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