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March 15, 2011 > Recent earthquakes signal importance of SCC Emergency Alerts

Recent earthquakes signal importance of SCC Emergency Alerts

Residents urged to sign-up mobile devices for messages

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell and Laurel Anderson

"The 6.5 earthquake that recently shattered the calm of a normal work day in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a painful reminder that we are not entirely in control of the events that potentially affect our lives in a major way," said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. "It is in our power to take steps to improve the odds of making it through such tragic events."

During a major disaster or widespread emergency, Santa Clara County is responsible for coordinating response and recovery. The AlertSCC emergency notification system is technology that can send thousands of messages per minute, advising residents of what to do or where to go to be safe. All 15 cities participate with the County because everyone recognizes the ability to organize and respond in a cohesive way may affect the outcome for residents, workers and visitors. This is especially important given the apparent increase in natural disasters and severe weather patterns.

A series of recent tremors, the strongest of which occurred south of San Jose and measured a magnitude of 4.5, serve as a potent reminder that residents of Santa Clara County should take basic steps to prepare for an emergency. One of the simplest and easiest steps is to sign up for AlertSCC emergency notifications. Santa Clara County's AlertSCC emergency notification system can send messages to not only land lines but also to wireless devices and e-mail addresses of people who have registered at

"Having the ground move under your feet can be very unsettling," said Kirstin Hofmann, Director of the County's Office of Emergency Service. "It is something that Californians live with daily. We can't predict when the next large scale earthquake will strike, or how severe it will be. We can let people know what to do or where to go through AlertSCC, if it's a serious disaster."

For more information or to register with AlertSCC visit

Editors Note: The M8.9 earthquake in Japan on Friday, March 11, 2011, subsequent to this press release is a dramatic reminder of the need for immediate citizen action to connect with local emergency information services.

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