When a wildfire threatened homes in Arlington Heights last September, residents who had signed up for AlertSense were notified as soon as authorities issued the evacuation alert.
And when heavy rains push the Stillaguamish or Snohomish rivers over their banks, registered residents are also alerted by text, voicemail or email, wherever they are.
The quickest way to find out about an incident is through AlertSense, says Michelle Boll, program coordinator for the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.
While Emergency Telephone Notification is the alert to notify the public of emergency alerts and warnings, not all cell phones are registered with that system, Boll said.
AlertSense fills that gap once individuals register, she said. It also allows people to link a work number to your home address so you can be notified of events that happen while you are at work.
AlertSense is the county’s early warning and notification system that allows emergency responders to issue alerts to warn residents and business owners of events such as evacuations, missing persons, crime or imminent danger, and local area emergencies. You choose what activities you want to be alerted to and how you want to receive alerts: via text message, voice message or email, or all of the above. Your zip code and address is used to tailor alerts for where you live. You can add more alerts or update your contact information at any time.
In the online form, simply indicate your preferred contact methods – such as home and work telephone lines, cell phone numbers and email – your address, and your location. It takes just a few minute.
Be sure to tell family members to register each of their cell phones too. “If you’re tied up at work and your teen is at home alone, they won’t get the alert unless their cell phone is also registered,” Boll said.
To learn more, visit snohomishcountywa.gov/620/Public-Alert-Resources or call the Department of Emergency Management at 425-388-5060.