Contra Costa County Community Warning System
“What are the sirens for?”
A siren is simply an alerting device that alerts you to a possible hazard to your health or life safety in your area. It could be for any number of hazards and is sounded to catch your attention from your daily activities. You may work or live near a hazardous material facility, a dam or levee, or any number of potential hazards. Even if you’re not sure what’s going on, the best first protective action, no matter the hazard is to…
“Shelter, Shut and Listen “
Shelter yourself, your family and your pets (if possible) inside away from the outside air; Shut and lock doors and windows. Turn off vents, air conditioners and fans; and, Listen to telephone notifications, radio and TV broadcasts and other sources of official information to learn how long you should stay inside and anything else you should do to protect your health.
For a hazardous chemicals incident, county Health Services Department will make an announcement when it’s safe to go back outside.
“Where can I call for more info?”
Don’t call us, we’ll call you! Please don’t call 911 for further information on the incident, unless you yourself have a life threatening emergency. 911 is not an information line and tying up these lines into dispatch centers only hamper first responders’ ability to handle the emergency. Instead, call 211 to find out about an emergency that has been declared in your area.
Instead, before something happens, prepare yourself to receive as much information about an incident as possible:
- Have your own personal siren – get a weather radio
- Register to receive alerts on your cell phone at : http://cws.cccounty.us
- Bookmark the above website on your computer, laptop, or smartphone and see a map of current alerts
- Follow us on Twitter! Follow CoCoCWS and set your cell phone to receive a text alert
- Sign up for EDIS-by-Email and receive alerts through email at: http://edis-by-email.net
“What else can I do?”
Radio and television broadcasts are usually the best source of ongoing information about emergencies. Be aware, though, that different stations and channels serve different areas. You may need to tune around a bit to find information for your particular area. In the San Francisco Bay Area radio station KCBS (740 AM) may be a good place to start.
If you have Internet access, websites can be a valuable source of detailed information. Sometimes special websites are set up to provide emergency information to a particular area; these sites will be advertised on radio or TV. A few permanent websites that may be helpful include:
- Contra Costa County Office of Emergency Services
- Contra Costa County Health Services
- American Red Cross
- National Weather Service
- Community Alert and Emergency Response (CAER)