County residents can sign up for emergency alerts

By Federal D. Glover

Supervisor, District V

In the early hours of the disaster of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsumani, and even now, days later, cell phone towers toppled and communications to the stricken areas were disabled. For many, the only means of communicating with the outside world was through the Internet using Facebook, Twitter and other servers. Relatives and friends were able to reunite and find out the fate of people they knew and the conditions they face.

I was relieved to hear on my cell phone the morning of March 11 that the tsumani would have minimal impact on Contra Costa County’s San Francisco Bay frontage. As a County supervisor I signed up to receive phone calls from the County’s emergency notification system on both my cell and home phones. There is some interesting video footage of the tsumani hitting the Point Richmond shoreline (see above).

The County’s emergency notification system automatically telephones landlines using a reverse 911 directory. Since more and more people are using cell phones as their primary means of communication, Contra Costa County cell phone users now can receive emergency alerts by signing up by linking to receive this free service at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office website at and follow the instructions. 

The Japan quake also reminds me to check on my emergency earthquake supply kit. In a dire emergency, such as a levee break or a massive quake on the Hayward Fault, you can expect to be on your own for the first two or three days so everyone needs to be prepared. Information on emergency preparedness is available on the Contra Costa Health Services website at

Our prayers and thoughts go to the victims of the Japan quake and tsumani. Check the local newspapers,and television stations to learn how you can help.

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