The City of Escondido uses two different notification systems in order to provide the community with important information about a range of subject, from urgent emergency situations to local events or developments of interest.
The first is the Community Emergency Notification System or CENS, which is sometimes called "Reverse 9-1-1." This system uses landline telephones, cell phones, and VoIP lines to transmit critical information during an emergency. All land lines, listed and unlisted, in the 9-1-1 system, are automatically incorporated into this Emergency Notification System. Cell phone and VoIP users must register their phones in order to be included in emergency alerts. More information about CENS follows.
The other system is a community notification system, "Nixle" that uses e-mail and text messages to transmit urgent and non-urgent (safety, community events) information. The City of Escondido is partnering with Nixle to provide this system. Anyone who wishes to be a part of this system must register with Nixle to receive messages. There is no charge to register and remain part of the Nixle community notification system but if you choose to receive text message notification, rates consistent with your text plan will apply. More information about the Nixle system follows.
Both systems are useful communications tools. Keep in mind that all land line phones are automatically part of the Emergency Notification System, which is the primary means of alerting the community with urgent life safety information. Users of cell phones and VoIP systems must register their phones to receive CENS calls. The Nixle community notification system is a supplementary source of information of varying degrees of urgency and ALL users must register in order to participate. Both systems are available at no cost to users.
Community Emergency Notification System (CENS)
The County of San Diego, in partnership with Twenty First Century Communications, Inc., has instituted a regional notification system that is able to send telephone notifications to residents and businesses within San Diego County impacted by, or in danger of being impacted by, an emergency or disaster. The City of Escondido is now a part of this system. Called AlertSanDiego, it can be used by emergency response personnel to notify residents and businesses at risk within specific areas with information about the event and/or actions that should be taken, such as evacuating or staying inside.
The system utilizes the region's 9-1-1 database, provided by the local telephone companies and thus is able to contact land-line telephones whether listed or unlisted. It is TTY/TDD capable. If the call is picked up by an answering machine, the system will leave a voice message. If the telephone called is busy or does not answer, the system will redial that number up to three times in an attempt to deliver the message.
Because the system uses the 9-1-1 database, only land-line numbers are in the system. If you have a Voice over IP (VoIP) or cellular telephone and would like to be notified over that device, you must register those telephone numbers for use by the system.
The alert system can also help in locating missing children and adults with Alzheimer's Disease or other conditions. Past activations have resulted in successfully reuniting family members more quickly than by other means, such as conducting door-to-door searches that require extensive resources and cause greater inconvenience to residents than answering a phone call.
To register your VoIP and/or cellular telephone, go to the ReadySanDiego Web site. Each number you provide will be added to the regional database. It is important to note that each number registered can only be associated with one address in the system.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need to register my home line to be included in the database?
No, your home phone number is already listed in the database and does not need to be registered. AlertSanDiego is for cell phone and VoIP registration only. Registering your cell phone will not replace or "overwrite" your home line. All efforts will be made to reach you at all of your contact numbers.
- If I register my cell phone and/or VoIP, will that information remain confidential?
Yes, your information will be kept confidential. It may be shared with other public safety agencies but it will only be used for emergency purposes. Under no circumstances will your information ever be sold or used for commercial purposes.
- Can I add more than one cell phone number per address?
Yes. Fill out the form again with up to five additional cell phone numbers.
- If I send you my information can you register for me?
Unfortunately we do not have enough resources to register everyone individually. Please use the sign up form at www.alertsandiego.org.
- Is AlertSanDiego registration secure?
Yes, the sign up page is hosted on a secure server and all data submitted is encrypted.
- I am moving out of the County or would like to remove the information I submitted from the database.
Please fill out this form and send it to the Office of Emergency Services.
- I have a question that is not covered in the FAQ.
Please email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Notification System
The City of Escondido is partnering with Nixle to provide a pilot community notification system which allows you to register for e-mail or text message notifications about urgent, non-urgent, or other information specific to your geographic area. Potential applications include notification of missing persons, crime series information, or upcoming events that may result in traffic delays or road closures.
There is no cost to sign up or use the secure service (if you choose to receive text message notification, rates consistent with your text plan will apply). The privacy of your personal information is extremely important to us. Your personal information is stored on a secure server in a secure facility. The company does not sell personal information to third parties.
To subscribe please visit www.nixle.com and select "Register Now." You can choose which messages to receive and on which device to receive them. Subscriptions can be cancelled at any time. Even after unsubscribing, Nixle information can still be viewed in real time by visiting www.nixle.com.
Please join us as we partner with Nixle, a secure system that connects local police departments and other municipal public safety agencies to their communities in real-time, making each of us, and our families safer and more informed.
To sign up go to www.nixle.com.