MADERA – If you have not yet signed up to be notified in the event of a fire, flood or other emergency, now is the time to register. It is free and it’s important, not only for your safety but for the safety of first responders.
On Wednesday, May 1, at around 10 a.m., Madera County’s Emergency Alert System (MCAlert) will perform a test for all current REGISTERED users.
Testing is an essential part of ensuring that Madera County’s emergency notification system works, says Sheriff Jay Varney.
“By testing we validate emergency readiness and uncover areas for improvement. This test also provides Madera County citizens the chance to see what a MCAlert looks like, and what to expect when receiving one.”
MCAlert is used to update residents regarding emergency evacuation during the fire season. Sheriff Varney believes this is fastest way for residents to be alerted to an evacuation.
“Deputy sheriffs will still come to advise residents, but that takes time,” says Sheriff Varney. “By signing up, you will help keep everyone in the community safer including our deputies and firefighters.”
MCAlert is also used for other natural disasters such as floods, severe weather and missing persons, such as Amber or Silver Alerts when necessary.
To ensure you are receiving alerts, please sign up at maderacounty.com (click on the MCAlert logo), visit www.mcalert.org, or come by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office to complete the form in person.
The system is free and Sheriff Varney is urging everyone who has not yet signed up to do so before May 1 so they can participate in the county-wide test (standard text messaging and/or data fees charged by your cellular carrier may still apply).
Beginning May 1, the phone number for calls from MCAlert will change. Registered users should program the number 1-800-915-2371 into their phones as “MC ALERT” (or something similar to alert you to answer). The Sheriff’s Office also encourages you to assign a unique ringtone to this number to further prompt you to pick up.
On May 1, registered users will receive a call from the 1-800-915-2371 number. If you miss the call from this number, you should call the number back to access the alert. Once your number is confirmed, the test calls will cease, though if a call is missed, additional attempts may already be in progress and a duplicate may occur.