In an emergency or disaster, multiple systems are used to warn the public and provide emergency instructions. These systems can be activated under pre-defined conditions by authorized agencies, such as local public safety agencies, the California Highway Patrol, and the National Weather Service.
AlertTC is Tulare County's mass notification tool. AlertTC was launched in 2008, utilizing grant funding from the State of California. In 2010, the platform was overhauled and capabilities significantly expanded to improve effectiveness. All City & County public safety agencies within Tulare County have access to AlertTC, and are capable of launching pre-scripted or dynamically-generated messages within minutes of a triggering event. AlertTC can deliver voice messages to conventional landline telephones, Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones, and cellular phones, text to TDD/TTY devices (auto-detected), and data to fax, email, and SMS (text message) devices.
AlertTC uses a combination of public directory information ("411 data"), Enhanced 9-1-1 databases from telephone companies ("911 data"), and self-registration data from the public portal to ensure that critical alerts reach as many citizens as possible, as quickly as possible. Visit www.AlertTC.com to learn more and register your contact information.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) has been in existence, through several name changes and evolutions, since 1951. The function of the system is to utilize conventional radio and television (via over-the-air broadcast, cable systems, and some satellite providers) to notify the public of critical, time-sensitive information in an emergency. Almost everyone has heard and/or seen the required weekly Emergency Alert System test messages, AMBER alert notifications, or severe weather warnings. However, a key drawback of this system is that it requires the intended recipients be "tuned in" to the media. As such, only a percentage of the target area can be reached by this system, and that percentage is largely determined by time of day and other circumstances beyond the control of government.
The National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates the National Weather Service (NWS) and the NOAA Weather Radio Service. Weather radio continually broadcasts forecasts, current conditions, and other information via FM radio in the 162MHz frequency range. A scanner or dedicated weather radio is required to receive these frequencies; a weather radio with battery backup and alerting capabilities is recommended to ensure that alerts are received, even during power outages or other emergency conditions. Click here to view the Receiver Consumer Information page.