Tsunamis, volcanic eruptions or disasters are always at the back of my mind as a resident of Tacoma. Yes, volcanic eruptions. I did not know that, upon relocating from Utah to Washington, we would be living within range of an actual volcano, but there she is. Tacoma’s hat, Mount Rainier. I didn’t take note until we started seeing “Volcano Escape Route” signage along the roads around Tacoma.
Which, of course, got me to thinking. Are we prepared? What would we do in the event of an actual emergency, being new Pierce County residents?
I did my research and discovered the Pierce County ALERT system, a free service that allows you to sign up and receive notifications about emergencies that may affect any of the locations you or your loved ones may be in.
You can sign up to receive alerts your cell phone, home phone, email, text messages and TTY/TDD by choosing up to five locations you want to be notified about such as your residence, workplace, children’s school and more.
Pierce County ALERT is a free service that allows you to sign up and receive notifications about emergencies that may affect the locations you care about. This service allows fire, police and other agencies dealing with emergency response to send out accurate and up-to-date information that they feel residents should be informed on.
PCALERT – Questions and Answers
|Q: What system do you use for mass notification?||A: Everbridge|
|Q: Why doesn’t the system recognize my Key Peninsula address?||A: The system uses a Google Maps interface and Google has not automatically updated Key Peninsula addresses.|
|Q: Is there a workaround for my Key Peninsula address?||A: Yes, you can still use the old addressing directional (KPN/KPS) when entering your location in the system.|
|Q: Why can’t I text in for SMS notifications?||A: Some cell carriers block text subscriptions. Contact your carrier and ask them to “unblock short codes”|
|Q: What are SMS short codes?||A: The short number that appears as sender for PCALERT text messages: 888-777 or 893-61|
|Q: How do I stop text messages?||A: Reply to a text message with “STOP”|
|Q: How do I resume text messages?||A: Text “RESUME” to 888-777 or 893-61|
Pierce County Department of Emergency Management
- 2501 S. 35th St. Suite D
Tacoma, WA 98409
Ph: (253) 798-6595
Fx: (253) 798-3307
Contact via e-mail
Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.