Santa Clara County alert system hopes to increase residents enrollment

Thursday, April 06, 2017 05:36PM
Santa Clara County officials are hoping to increase enrollment in the county's emergency alert system that notifies residents about inclement weather, advisories, power outages and other region based alters.

SAN FRANCISCO - A storm and wind alert went out to residents living in the region of Loma Prieta Thursday.

Last fall that same area was hit hard by a large wildfire.

The alerts go out to cell phones from a Santa Clara County run system that would like to see more people sign up for it.

WATCH LIVE: Track the storm moving through the Bay Area with Live Doppler 7 radar

The emergency operations center is quiet when it's not activated. But at its heart is software that can send out text alerts to residents of cities and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

But to be at its most effective, the AlertSCC System needs people to sign up to get timely alerts.

Deputy Director of Emergency Management David Flamm showed ABC7 News their monitor, filled with colored dots.

"Registered cell phones, it could be E-911 data, so land lines that we can contact using the reverse 911 system, anyone that's in the white pages or the yellow pages," said Flamm.

But when he zeroed in on the Rocksprings area, hard hit by February's flood, only 223 contacts were found for an area with thousands of residents.

San Jose did not request an alert to go out that morning, but if it had, it would have reached only a handful of residents.

But AlertSCC has another way to reach people. The county is credentialed to use a federal alert system that goes out to everyone.

"We can notify anyone, opted-in or not in a given area about life safety issues, and we can send those notifications out using that federal credential, and anyone in a given area will receive that if they've got their cell phone turned on," said Flamm.

MORE: Watch your ABC7 AccuWeather forecast

So an effort is underway to encourage more residents to opt-in to sign up for the AlertSCC notices at

The county is in the process of converting to new software to allow not just alerts but also advisories and general information to targeted areas or the entire region.

Click here for full coverage on Bay Area weather.

PHOTOS: Major winter storms sweep across Bay Area
(Copyright ©2018 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)