Skip to main content

Our Community Focus

Register for Early Warning Systems

Jan 02, 2018 01:14PM

Extra Time Can Save Lives

By Jim Bonato, Pleasant Hill CERT Program Manager

Get out now! These were ominous words heard by many Santa Rosa residents -- urgent words for many that came too late to gather important papers, photos, or family heirlooms as wildfires began sweeping through neighborhoods.

What do you mean it can’t happen here? A wildfire on the eastern edge of Briones Regional Park, coupled with the correct temperature, humidity, winds, and dryness of fuel, can create “the perfect storm” that could sweep through this urban landscape. Can’t happen here? Just ask the residents of the Oakland Hills, Napa, Santa Rosa, and Lake County.

Advance warning could have saved some of the lives lost and given residents time to gather items they deemed to be important before evacuating. EVERYONE should take the time to register for two warning systems that can give them an earlier alert rather than wait for that knock on the front door.

Community Warning System

The Contra Costa County Community Warning System is recognized as one of the nation’s most modern and effective all-hazard warning systems. This system alerts people in the county by telephone, text, email, and/or social media to imminent threats to their lives or safety. The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department manages this service and initiates warnings. To receive these warnings, you must register online at


“Nixle” is another local and very effective warning system. Nixle is a Community Information Service dedicated to helping you stay connected to the information that matters most to you, depending on your physical location. These include emergency warnings, major street closures, gas leaks, water main breaks, etc. Warnings on this service are initiated by local police departments. To receive these warnings, you must register online at  You can tailor each system for how you prefer to be notified. 

Wildfire Preparation Plan

Returning to that wildfire scenario, even though we are entering the wet months, knowledge about how to prepare your home and family for the possibility of a wildfire is important. A great website is, where you can access the publication “Ready, Set, Go! – Your Wildfire Preparation Plan.”

For more information on disaster preparedness, check out the Pleasant Hill Community Emergency Response (CERT) website at