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Keep yourself informed during major emergencies

Live from City Hall

Posted: October 18, 2008 8:13 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
In the digital world, people’s need to access real-time information transcends simply 24-hour national and world news sources and must include local happenings.

There is a real and growing expectation that breaking news affecting our daily lives should not only be immediately available but should be able to find us wherever we happen to be at that moment.

We couldn’t agree more!

As our community nears the one-year anniversaries of the I-5 Tunnel Accident and the Buckweed Fire, we want to take this opportunity to stress the immeasurable value of having immediate access to emergency-related information.

Recognizing that we now live in a mobile environment where nearly every person carries a cellular phone or device, Santa Clarita developed an Emergency Notification System and most recently launched its brand new eAlerts Emergency Texting System.

With many people commuting outside of the Santa Clarita Valley each day, the need for localized, accurate and immediate information is imperative.

These two important emergency communication systems proactively allow the city to reach out and contact residents wherever they may be during times of localized emergencies.

The city’s Emergency Notification System, commonly known as a “reverse 911,” allows emergency response personnel to place a call to as little as one neighborhood or as wide-spread an area as every single household in the city during emergencies.

Most recently used during last year’s Buckweed Fire, this system allows the city to call every single household within a matter of minutes, providing with up-to-the-minute, recorded emergency information such as an evacuation notice. 

The city’s system utilizes telephone database records provided and updated by the local phone company on a quarterly basis, ensuring that the city can reach you in a moment’s notice.

Text alerts
What’s more, earlier this year the city expanded the functionality of this system to allow residents to update their own personal contact information. Residents can now go to the city’s home page at www.santaclarita.com and update their contact information to include their mobile or office telephone number.

Recognizing that texting for many has become one of their primary methods for communication, and in many ways more important then e-mail, Santa Clarita recently introduced its new eAlert Texting system.
This new system allows our residents to subscribe and automatically receive mobile phone text alerts by simply texting the term “SCEMERGENCY” to 41411 from any mobile phone device, or by visiting the city’s Web site.

For added convenience, in lieu of setting this up from your mobile phone, residents can also subscribe to this service by visiting the city’s Web site at www.santa-clarita.com/ealert and entering your mobile phone number in the “Text Message Alerts” subscription box, located on the upper right side of the page.

Almost 2,000 subscribers
To date, almost 2,000 residents have subscribed to this system, and this number continues to grow every single day.

It is our goal to provide you with important and up-to-date information to keep you and your family safe and informed.

For more information regarding the city’s Emergency Notification System or new emergency text alerts, please contact the city’s webmaster at webmaster@santa-clarita.com.

Ken Pulskamp is city manager for Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita
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