Great California ShakeOut prepares for earthquakes

Yolo County residents can practice for the next major earthquake by participating in the California ShakeOut on Thursday, Oct. 19.

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Yolo County will participate in a statewide exercise called the Great California ShakeOut on Thursday, Oct. 19, at10:19 a.m. This exercise focuses on a catastrophic earthquake impacting California residents.

The Yolo County Office of Emergency Services urges residents and businesses to use this opportunity to prepare for the many hazards that threaten the community, and to take proactive steps in ensuring receipt of timely information during emergencies.

The past winter season was a reminder of flood threats in our area, and currently, the danger posed by wildfire fires throughout the state has been seen. Both wildfires and flooding occur rapidly, forcing evacuations and road closures. Yolo-Alert, the county’s mass notification system (built upon the Everbridge® Platform in partnership with the counties of Sacramento and Placer) is a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions, such as evacuating their homes during an imminent fire. Yolo County and city partners rely heavily on this communication tool to warn residents of potential hazards and the actions they can take to remain safe.

On Oct. 19, more than two million Sacramento, Yolo and Placer county residents will receive a call to test the joint alert system. The drill will replicate a large scale, multi-jurisdictional emergency requiring thousands of numbers to be called simultaneously across the Sacramento tri-county region. This is the second annual regional test of the system.

The distinctive feature of Yolo-Alert is the ability to register more than one contact method at a specific address. Registrations of cell phone and alternate numbers dramatically increase the ability to reach the greatest number of community members within minutes. This enables landlines, cell phones and email addresses to be incorporated into a single notification system.

The newest system feature is the Everbridge® App, which will send push notifications based on one’s smartphone location at the time of an emergency, providing alerts about evacuation areas, flooded road conditions, public safety emergencies that require sheltering in place, and more. App downloads are available from the Apple Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android devices.

Residents can do their part to prepare for emergencies by registering for Yolo-Alert at www.Yolo-Alert.org.  Now is the time to self-register cell phone numbers and email addresses, and download the App to be a part of the regional test.

For more information and to register alternate phone numbers and email addresses, visit www.Yolo-Alert.org.  More information about the Great California ShakeOut earthquake exercise is available at: www.shakeout.org.

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