Wednesday, March 4, 2015

You've Been Warned

CRESA Emergency Management staff has the ability to launch several different types of alerts within the Clark County. Our goal is to deliver coordinated, prompt, and reliable information to the whole community to effectively share information regarding a threat or hazard.

Beings emergencies and disasters vary widely our alerting systems must be diverse in order to meet the needs of the particular situation.

Each of the warning methods have specific benefits and limitations
  • No single notification system will work in every circumstance
  • Some of the warning systems require residents to pre-register in order to fully realize all of the benefits 
  • Some warning methods require little more then owning a newer smart phone or paying attention to the loud alert signals on the radio or TV

Let's review the major types of alerts that can be launched within Clark County.  Each of these warning types can be used independently or in conjunction with each other.  Emergency management officials and key stakeholders work together to identify the best fit for the situation.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)
EAS alerts are immediate, widespread, and cover the whole county.  Beings Clark County shares the broadcast market (TV channels) with the entire Portland and SW Washington region, EAS alerts cannot be limited to a single county or city. When an EAS alert is issued the entire region will receive the message.

These alerts broadcast on:
  • Television
  • Radio
  • NOAA weather radios
More information about the Emergency Alert System can be found at

Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS)
ECNS alerts are outbound phone calls, emails, and text messages sent to a very targeted geographic area.  

These alerts are used for a wide range of local emergencies, including:

  • Missing people
  • Criminal threats
  • Chemical spills
  • Boil water notices
Land-line phone numbers in Clark County are automatically included in the system.  You must self-register cell phones, email addresses, and VoIP (voice over internet) to receive additional alerts. 
To register your additional information with various community's systems visit

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

WEA are text type alerts that can be sent to most newer smart phones within a geographic area. Alerts are based on your current location, not your home county or address associated with your cell phone.  These messages have a unique tone and vibration.  This short message will give immediate advice.

There are 3 types of alerts:

  • Extreme weather, or other major hazard
  • AMBER Alerts
  • Presidential alerts in a national emergency
You can opt out of all except Presidential alerts, we strongly encourage you to continue to receive all alerts.

Visit for the latest information on Wireless Emergency Alerts
The PublicAlerts website provides regional news and Twitter feeds in real-time.  Information is shared by participating agencies throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area.  The site also provides links to register cell and VoIP numbers with numerous community notification systems in the region.

Examples of information shared on the site include:
  • Service disruptions
  • Weather related closures
  • Public health emergencies
  • Transit delays
  • Road conditions
Visit for the latest information

As you can see there are many different tools in our alert & warning toolbox.  Technology and communications systems change very quickly.  We strive to incorporate a diverse assortment of platforms to achieve our mission of informing the community potential hazards and threats.  

No comments: