City, county and state to test emergency alert systems


The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The Wireless Emergency Alert portion of the test commences at 11:18 a.m., and the Emergency Alert System portion follows at 11:20 a.m. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.


Because of these national-level events, on Oct. 3, at 10 a.m., the city of Seal Beach, Seal Beach Police Department and West Cites Communications, in partnership with the County of Orange, will conduct a test of Orange County’s Regional Notification System – AlertOC.  The objective is to test AlertOC’s capability, capacity, and effectiveness to deliver emergency notifications to the public during times of major disaster.  The AlertOC system replaced the older “reverse 911” system.


AlertOC is a mass notification system used by the city of Seal Beach and Seal Beach Police Department to issue government related messages to residents and businesses.  All residential and commercial landline phone numbers are a part of the AlertOC system.  During the test all residents of the city of Seal Beach should expect a phone call on their home phone line; businesses will not be receiving a test call.


The AlertOC drill on Oct. 3, will replicate a large scale, multi-jurisdictional emergency requiring thousands of numbers to be called simultaneously across Orange County’s entire region.  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.  In these instances, AlertOC is a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions.


The key feature of AlertOC is the ability for residents to register more than one contact method at a specific address. Registrations of cell phone and alternate numbers increase the potential of reaching the greatest number of community members as rapidly as possible.  This enables landlines, cell phones and e-mail addresses to be incorporated into a single notification system.  Residents are encouraged to self-register their email addresses, cell phone numbers and other alternate numbers to be a part of the regional test.


For more information or to register alternate phone numbers and email addresses, visit  For more information about how to prepare for a disaster go to


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