Keeping up with what’s happening in our communities can feel like quite the feat. Between checking social media, news outlets and online neighborhood groups, it’s not always easy to find the most up-to-date information about emergency situations.
Thankfully, there are free emergency alert systems available throughout the Portland metro area and beyond that keep residents informed during emergencies. Alerts range from wildfires, severe winter storms, and other emergencies happening in your area.
These public alert systems are free. All you have to do is sign up online to receive emergency alerts via text, email, or voice message.
Depending on the emergency alert system in your county or city, you may also receive other community notifications. These include notifications about hazardous material spills, boil water notices, power outages, large fires or flooding, missing persons, police activity, terrorist incidents, major landslides, road or bridge closures, major traffic issues, public health emergencies, school closures, severe weather, and other dangers.
How do emergency alerts work?
When an emergency happens in your area, public safety responders must warn the public to take urgent safety actions. Emergency alert systems are activated to send messages directly to your landline phone, mobile phone or email address.
These alerts are a quick, efficient way to inform as many people as possible about dangers in their areas. Ultimately, these alerts are meant to keep us safe and, in some cases, can save people's lives.
Why should you sign up for emergency alerts?
We see a lot of good advice about creating emergency preparedness kits in case disaster strikes in our communities. Signing up for alerts is another great step toward emergency preparedness for you and your family.
When emergencies happen, you'll be the first to know and will be given updates about situations happening where you are. These alert systems are designed to send official, real-time alerts to the public with information about potentially life-saving actions you may need to take to keep you and your family safe.
While we have news outlets, social and online community groups at our disposal, getting alerts sent directly to you may be the best way to stay informed and share the most up-to-date, accurate information.
By signing up for emergency alerts where you live and work, you are taking initiative to improve your overall personal safety.
How to sign up for emergency alerts
When signing up for alerts, it important to know that each county uses a different emergency alert system. Some cities also have their own alert systems. I have listed our local counties and cities below. Follow the links to sign up.
If you spend time in multiple counties, such as living in one and working in another, sign up for each county's emergency alert system so you are always in the know.
Emergency alerts by county/city:
Oregon State Counties (Portland metro)
- Multnomah County Alerts - Includes Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview, Wood Village, Maywood Park, Corbett, and Sauvie Island.
- Clackamas County Alerts
- Columbia County Alerts
- Hood River County Alerts
- Linn and Benton County Alerts
- Marion County - Includes Aumsville, Aurora, Butteville, Detroit, Donald, Drakes Crossing, Gates, Gervais, Hubbard, Idanha, Jefferson, Lyons, Mill City, Mt. Angel, Monitor, Scotts Mills, Silverton, St. Paul, Stayton, Sublimity, Turner and Woodburn.
- Tigard City Alerts
- Salem City Alerts
- Washington County Alerts
Washington State Counties
Local emergency alert resource
Staying in the know about what is going on in our area has been made easy thanks to a local website. PublicAlerts is an emergency information hub for the Portland and Vancouver region. The site has interactive maps, live alerts, preparedness tips and ways to help your community.
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