The wildfires that caused millions of dollars in damage in Fullerton’s neighboring cities of Brea and Yorba Linda in the fall of 2008 dramatically drove home the need for a systematic way of notifying citizens of possible danger in major emergencies. For Fullerton residents, such a system is now available thanks to a contract the City has signed with the County of Orange making the City a partner in “AlertOC,” a city-wide mass notification system.
“AlertOC” has the capacity to send notifications of emergency conditions to registered participants within minutes via phone, cell phone, email and text. The primary use of the system is to disseminate messages pertaining to the health or safety of a community, and can include such situations as major fires, flooding, missing persons and road closures. Another feature of the system is that it can be used to alert City employees such as Police, Firefighters and maintenance crews that they need to report to work to assist with emergency recovery activities. Fullerton Fire Chief Wolf Knabe said citizens can register now by logging onto www.alertoc.com.
For now, registration is solely web-based and must be completed via the internet. Citizens who do not have internet access may have relatives or friends register them. Citizens may also use the free computers in the Fullerton Main and Hunt Branch libraries. Once on the website, citizens should scroll down to the map of Orange County and click on the City of Fullerton. They will then be directed to a page where they can register both their home and/or business. Chief Knabe reminded citizens to be careful that they enter their information accurately as, at present, there is no way to go in and correct an entry. “Remember, the system will only be as good as the information you provide, so be sure to enter your information carefully,” Knabe said.
The AlertOC website also contains a question-and-answer section which explains the program in detail.