JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – A citizen alert system will be put to the test in rural Josephine County next week.
In the Illinois Valley, many people’s only primary contact is via a landline phone. During last year’s Slater Fire, heavy call volumes to the physical landline infrastructure reportedly created a need to make sure the system isn’t overloaded in the future.
This year, the Josephine County Emergency Management Department will try out an updated notification cycle designed to reduce load to copper landline infrastructure.
On July 1 at 1:00 p.m., JCEM will conduct a test of the system, targeting the Illinois Valley area including all unincorporated areas from the Selma and Hayes Hill areas to the Oregon-California border.
Goals for the test include the following, according to JCEM:
- Practice new notification system cycle of sending to all digital methods of contact first and confirm a reduced load for copper landline delivery.
- Allow citizens to practice the habit of confirming their receipt of the alert. The sooner you confirm for your account, the sooner the system can move on to another account. Confirming receipt is usually done by typing ‘Yes’ to a text or pressing ‘1’ for a call.
- Send Josephine County Emergency Management updated data results to analyze post–test.
- Allow for new opt–in accounts to see what an alert looks like. (JCEM suggests adding the incoming phone number to your contacts so that the number is recognized during an emergency.)
- Provide opportunity for a wellness check for all Citizen Alert account holders. If you need assistance with account changes or updates, or have questions following the 1:00 PM test on July 1st, please call 541–474–5300
Josephine County Citizen Alert is designed to be more flexible and targeted than wireless emergency alerts and the federal Emergency Alert System, JCEM said.
For more information on the different types of alerts visit: http://www.rvem.org/alerts.html. For more information on communications during an emergency, including preparedness tips and how to sign up for Citizen Alert visit: http://www.rvem.org/communication.html.