About Alerts

PublicAlerts is one of several systems that local Emergency Managers can use to send alerts when people are in danger. Learn more and get answers to common questions.

COMMON QUESTIONS

Yes. Call the Multnomah County Aging and Disability Helpline. They are open 8am-5pm Monday through Friday at (503) 988-3646.

PublicAlerts is different. Amber Alerts are part of the federal Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system. The WEA sends alerts to cell phones in a large geographical area. Sometimes local emergency managers want to target a smaller area. The PublicAlerts system allows them to send messages to specific neighborhoods.

Yes and no. Oregon is launching a program that allows you to text your zip code to 888777 to sign up for emergency alerts. The system is not yet functional in the Portland Metro Area. You can go ahead and sign up now and at some point soon it will work. But you should also sign up for PublicAlerts through your County's registration website.

You can, but you won't get info as fast. When an emergency occurs, alerts go out through the the WEA and/or PublicAlerts systems first. Next, messages go out through social media. Then, messages are broadcast on local television stations. Also, the power might be out. It's a good idea to have many ways to Stay Informed.

Alerts can cover a range of topics, such as:

  • 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
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Other dangers

PublicAlerts is one of many tools public safety professionals use in an emergency. It is not used for all emergencies. It only sends alerts to people in the incident area who registered.

PublicAlerts.org is a regional website. Each county has a different PublicAlerts registration page. Visit your county's PublicAlerts system to create an account or update your information. If you live, work, go to school, and play in several counties, make sure to sign up in each county's system. 

Most landline phone numbers are already included in the PublicAlerts system. Mobile phone and email addresses are not. Visit your county's PublicAlerts system to create an account or update your information.

Emergency managers can also send alerts using the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system. They can do this even if you haven't signed up. That is an opt-out system, and it is good for certain types of emergencies. 

Yes. PublicAlerts is only one of several methods for emergency alerts. Officials can also use social, print (newspaper), and broadcast (television) media. They can also use Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

The PublicAlerts system is only as good as the information people provide. Log in to your account(s) to update your contact information.

We work very hard to to ensure reliability of the PublicAlerts system. But it relies on other systems. External phone and internet networks are outside emergency managers' control. We are working with service providers to increase the reliability of these notifications. Below are some examples of service limitations.

  • Email: You might not be able to receive emails if networks get damaged or are at capacity.
  • Text Messages: Most wireless carriers do not guarantee delivery of text messages. Outages and congestion may impact text messages from PublicAlerts. Check with your wireless service provider to learn more.
  • Telephone: Your landline or wireless carrier may experience network congestion or outages. Or you could have poor reception. This could prevent you from receiving PublicAlerts.
  • Website: PublicAlerts.org can handle high traffic volumes. But your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might experience outages.

Each county's emergency management office controls their own PublicAlerts system. Some cities manage their own system (including Tigard).

PublicAlerts.org is a regional website. Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization maintain the website. Partner agencies contribute to content. 

PublicAlerts.org directs you to your county's PublicAlerts system. Each county maintains their own PublicAlerts system. They contract with vendors to manage the data. Most counties in the Portland Metro Region use Everbridge. Some use CodeRED. You will see those company's names in the URL while you are registering. But we refer to all these county systems as PublicAlerts. 

No. PublicAlerts only uses the information that you provide for PublicAlerts. We will never sell your contact or location information to any vendor or other organization.