As summer heats up, now is the time to sign-up for evacuation alerts

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — It’s on pace to be one of the hottest and driest years on record, and after last year’s horrific fires, first responders want you to be informed of evacuation alerts before they come.

Jackson County’s Emergency Manager says signing up for its alert system takes only 5 minutes, but can make all the difference, in saving your life. She encourages everyone, to be ready for fire season.

Holly Powers, Jackson County’s new Emergency Manager, says Jackson and Josephine Counties have been using “Citizen Alert” for the last 10 years.

“Signing up is really the one way to guarantee that you’re going to receive information as we’re able to send it,” said Powers.

The goal of the mass notification system is to enhance the ability to respond to emergencies.

“We work really closely with all of our first responder agencies, law and fire in order to identify times in which we would need to be sending an emergency notification,” said Powers.

Powers says over 400,000 contacts are already in the system, but the county is looking to add more, so people can be contacted in case of an emergency near them.

“Law and fire are on the ground have the best situational awareness, they are going to communicate that with the emergency management of the city or the counties, and we will build and send that alert out,” said Powers.

If you are not registered or don’t have a landline, you may not be able to receive the alert. Only a small fraction of Jackson County residents had signed up for it before the Almeda fire. Tens of thousands more did after the fire.

Danny Jordan, Jackson County Administrator urges residents to take advantage, and be informed.

“It allows us to map specific targeted evacuation areas unlike these other broader-based options like EAS or IPAWS.,” said Jordan.

It’s also easy to sign up. Visit rvem.org, select either Jackson or Josephine County, and share your contact information. Now you’re automatically in the database and can be contacted during an emergency.

No matter what county you’re in, alert systems stress that if you don’t sign up, the alert won’t reach you.

“Get yourself ready have a to-go bag with those important documents that you can grab and go, have your car fueled up be ready,” said Jordan.

If you are an Ashland resident, the city uses a different program called Nixle, but the sign-up is very similar.

Leave a Comment:

Note: By commenting below you agree to abide by the KOBI5.com commenting guidelines. View the KOBI5.com Comment Board Guidelines »