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Recent Earthquakes Signal Importance of SCC Emergency Alerts

Residents urged to sign-up mobile devices for messages

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – “The 6.5 earthquake that shattered the calm of a normal work day in Christchurch, New Zealand on Monday is a painful reminder that we are not entirely in control of the events that have the potential to affect our lives in a major way,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “It is in our power to take steps to improve the odds of making it through such tragic events.”

During a major disaster or widespread emergency, the County of Santa Clara is responsible for coordinating response and recovery. The AlertSCC emergency notification system is technology that can send thousands of messages out each minute, advising residents of what to do or where to go to be safe. All 15 cities are participating with the County because everyone recognizes that the ability to organize and respond in a cohesive way may affect the outcome for residents, workers and visitors. This is especially important given the apparent increase in natural disasters and severe weather patterns.

Over the past few weeks, many residents in Santa Clara County and in other areas of California felt a series of tremors, the strongest of which occurred south of San Jose and measured a magnitude of 4.5. These seismic events serve as a potent reminder that residents of Santa Clara County should take basic steps to prepare for an emergency. One of the simplest and easiest steps is to sign up for AlertSCC emergency notifications. Santa Clara County’s AlertSCC emergency notification system can send messages to not only land lines, but also to wireless devices and e-mail addresses of people who have registered at

“Having the ground move under your feet can be very unsettling,” said Kirstin Hofmann, Director of the County’s Office of Emergency Service. “It is something that Californians live with everyday. We can’t predict when the next large scale earthquake will hit, or how severe it will be. We can let people know what to do or where to go through AlertSCC, if it’s a serious disaster.”

About AlertSCC
AlertSCC is an automated system with the capacity to send thousands of text and voice messages within minutes to home and business land line phones, cell phones, computers, and devices for the hearing impaired. The system has been carefully designed to only alert residents of emergencies in their geographic area, although subscribers can add multiple addresses and receive information about emergencies near their work, loved one’s homes, or children’s school, etc. The service is easy, free and confidential.

While the system uses 411 and 911 databases to call landline phones, those who live or work in Santa Clara County who don’t have landlines can sign up online to receive alerts on cell phones and through e-mail. To sign up for the free emergency alerts, visit

AlertSCC can be used for a variety of emergency notifications, such as evacuations due to floods, fires, or major earthquake damage; crime incidents; terrorist attacks; appropriate steps to take in the event of a chemical spill; infectious disease risks; or contaminated food warnings.

For more information or to register to receive AlertSCC messages, go to

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119
Posted: February 23, 2011