The City will conduct a test of Everbridge, its Disaster Mass Notification System, on Wednesday, June 26 as part of its ongoing efforts to improve disaster preparedness, and test an improvement that enables the City reach more residents via cell phone.
The City is already applying lessons learned from the devastating Woolsey Fire, as well as the historic wildfires that have ravaged California in recent years, to keep improving its emergency communications for future disasters. This test will help the City refine the system, and to raise awareness among the community of this important tool.
The company that provides the tool that the City uses for Disaster Notifications, Everbridge, recently reached an agreement with cellphone companies to provide government agencies, including Malibu, the cellphone numbers of account holders so that they can be entered into the system database without having to self-register. Until now, the only way the City had access to people’s cell phone numbers was if they registered themselves on the Everbridge system and added their cell number. Only landline numbers were provided to the City by the phone companies. Now, the City will be able to increase the number of cellphone numbers in the Everbridge database from about 3,600 up to about 12,000. All information will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with third parties.
Following the test of the system on June 26, the City will analyze the effectiveness and reach of the system and will conduct additional outreach to register more residents.
QUESTIONS OR ASSISTANCE
To sign up for the City’s disaster and evacuation alerts through Everbridge, visit www.MalibuCity.org/DisasterNotifications. For more information or assistance with signing up for Everbridge, call Public Safety Manager Susan Dueñas at 310-456-2489 ext. 313 or email SDuenas@MalibuCity.org.
The City’s disaster mass notification system, Everbridge, is only used in case of major disasters or evacuations to send urgent, critical information by landline phone call, cell phone call, text message and email. It is a separate system from the City’s website Alert Center, which is regularly used to send out traffic, weather, utility and (minor) emergency alerts by text message and email to subscribers.
The Everbridge system enables the City to send an alert by voice message, text and email to all registered landlines, cellphones and email addresses. The 26,150 Verizon landlines in Malibu are automatically registered. Users can go to the City’s Everbridge website, create a profile, and enter multiple cell phone numbers, landlines and email addresses so that every family member, or staff member of a business, will receive an alert wherever they are.
According to some estimates, fewer than half of all homes currently have a landline. People are increasingly “cutting the cord” and using only cell phones, highlighting the importance of expanding the number of people whose cell phones are in the system.
When activated, the Everbridge system will send a recorded voice and/or text message, and cycle through every device that is registered, until a person clicks a “message received” confirmation. If no confirmation is received, the system will start over and cycle back through all of the devices/contacts until a confirmation is given.
Users can download a free, optional Everbridge mobile app for use on Android or Apple devices. The system will work without the app. To find the app, search for “ContactBridge” in the app store or iTunes.