The Butte County Sheriff's Office has a new and improved alert system that will be able to notify the public of emergency situations. Whether it be a natural disaster, an armed felon in the area or a missing person, the sheriff's office must be ready to get word out to the public at a moment's notice. The recent drought is making for a potentially hazardous fire season ahead, and that has authorities concerned. In the past, the sheriff's office only had the ability to notify people via their landlines, but now they can reach the public on a broader scale almost instantly.
"Many people are converting over from having a landline in their home to using their cell phone as their primary source of telephone communication, but along with that comes text messaging and e-mail. This system allows us to communicate with people along all of those platforms," says Undersheriff Kory Honea.
To get the notifications, all you have to do is register online at https://buttecounty.onthealert.com. The new alert system is free for all Butte County residents. Once they have your information, the sheriff's office can pinpoint a specific area where they want to send the alert and it will contact anyone in range. You can also choose to be notified for non-emergency alerts, such as a public health notice. Honea says they also hope to be able to use the new system to direct people to Facebook and Twitter as well to get updates out quicker.
"If we send out an alert we can direct people to those pages and the provide real time updates about what is going on and what information they need," he says.