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Countywide Emergency Notification Test Thursday

Sign up for AlertOC to be part of the annual test of the emergency alert system, taking place 10 a.m. Thursday.

Being prepared for natural disasters is a necessity in the Southland, where earthquakes regularly rumble. 

Those registered with AlertOC, the regional notification system, will get a call, text or email as part of its third annual test Thursday morning.

The 10 a.m. test will replicate a large scale, multi-jurisdictional emergency requiring thousands of numbers to be called simultaneously across 24 cities and unincorporated areas, officials said.

More than 2 million Orange County residents signed up for the emergency alert will receive a call at 10 a.m. Thursday, according to county officials.

"Emergencies can happen at any time. A wildfire could spread or a flood could close the roads to a neighborhood while residents are away from home," officials said in a statement. "In these instances, AlertOC is a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions."

AlertOC already has residential and commercial landline numbers for most of Orange County, but officials recommend community members provide additional phone numbers, email addresses and a text number. Each address location can have up to three phone numbers, two email addresses and one text number.

How AlertOC Works

  • Authorized officials record a voice, email or text message that is then delivered quickly to individuals in the notification system.
  • This system supplements, does not replace, other communication methods used by emergency responders. During an emergency, county or city call-in emergency information lines will still be available. Television, radio and county/city web sites will continue to broadcast important announcements as well.
  • For busy signals, call waiting signals or when there is not an answer, the call will be repeated several times in an attempt to reach you. If the phone is answered by a message recorder, the message will be left on the answering device. If after several attempts the call does not successfully go through, the system will stop attempting to call.

The Thursday morning phone message will urge all residents to prepare for real-life emergencies by registering their contact information at AlertOC.com.

The test is being held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month.

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