Frequently Asked Questions

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What is AlertTC?


AlertTC is a mass notification system used by Tulare County and participating cities to rapidly issue time-sensitive messages to residents and businesses within its database. The system has the capacity to send thousands of messages within minutes via phone, e-mail, fax and text. Only authorized officials are allowed access to the system.

How can I sign up to receive notifications?

Sign up online by using the AlertTC Web Portal (linked from the AlertTC Homepage).

Sign up through mail by downloading the Registration Form from the AlertTC Home Page and mailing it to the County of Tulare at the address listed on the form.

How does the service work?

In the event of an emergency, authorized officials can create any combination of voice, SMS text, email, and fax message(s) to provide information to the public. The message will then be targeted to the impacted / appropriate area(s). Once launched, the message is rapidly delivered to all selected contacts.

The system automatically tracks the progress of each message, and is configured by default to make multiple attempts to each contact until a successful delivery is made. A success delivery is determined once a recipient confirms receiving the notification by pressing 1 at the end of the call, or responding to the SMS text or email instructions. The authorizing agency can configure the success criteria, the retry rate, the direction in which the system will make calls (i.e. east to west), the order in which phone types are tried (i.e. home, work, cell), and many other parameters to best address the situation.

What types of messages will be sent using the AlertTC service?

The primary use of the system is to disseminate messages pertaining to the health, safety or welfare of our community. Examples would include, but are not limited to, evacuation / shelter-in-place notices, boil water notices, severe weather warnings and updates, power outage notices and road closures.

All contacts (listed, unlisted, and self-registered) will receive emergency notifications that affect their location. By default, those residents and businesses with listed telephone numbers, and those who have opted in during self-registration, will receive non-emergency calls. Non-emergency calls are limited by policy to useful, time-sensitive information from local government agencies. No commercial, political, or personal messages will be sent via AlertTC.

Is my contact information already included in the AlertTC system database?

AlertTC utilizes multiple databases to maximize its reach into the community. All landline telephones, including most VoIP services, are contained within the 911 database, which is used to send emergency calls only. All listed telephone numbers are contained in the 411 database, used for both emergency and non-emergency calls.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to submit their information to our databases via the Public Sign-up Portal. By providing supplemental information, such as cell phone numbers, text message numbers, and email addresses, you can ensure that emergency notifications will reach you as quickly as possible via your preferred contact path(s).

You can sign up multiple individuals within your household or workplace to receive alerts for a single address. You can also signup to receive alerts for multiple addresses within Tulare County under a single profile. Many individuals have used this functionality to receive alerts impacting relatives or multiple business locations.

What precautions are taken to protect personal contact information stored in the AlertTC database?

AlertTC is a service provided by the governments within Tulare County, and is a product of Everbridge. Your county/city government and Everbridge take citizen security and privacy concerns seriously. Policy and contract agreements have been put into place that prohibit AlertTC contact information from being shared, sold, traded, leased or loaned to outside parties. Staff cannot access or download information from the 411, 911, or public sign-up databases; all interaction with this data is in aggregate form via a map interface. Citizen provided contact information transmitted through the web portal is sent over a secure connection. All data exchanged between Everbridge, county/city government agencies, and telephone companies is conducted via a secure platform.

What if I don't have a landline, can AlertTC call my cell phone?

Yes, residents who have registered their cell phone numbers in the AlertTC system will receive messages on their cell phone. Since there are many instances when the public may not be at home to receive an emergency message phone call, public safety officials recommend that all residents with a cell phone add their number to the AlertTC database. AlertTC also has the ability to send notifications via SMS texts, emails, and/or faxes.

My cell phone number has a non-local area code. Will I still receive calls?

Yes, residents who live or work within the geographic boundary of Tulare County and who have registered their cell phone numbers at one or more addresses in the AlertTC system will receive messages on their cell phone if a notification is issued covering the registered address(es). The area code does not impact whether or not a call is made.

Does the AlertTC service replace other emergency notification systems?

This system is a significant enhancement to existing emergency alert and warning systems, and is supplemental to, not a replacement of, other systems used by emergency responders. During an emergency, county or city emergency information lines will still be available. Television, radio, and county/city web sites will continue to broadcast important announcements as well.

If I have provided more than one phone number, what number will be called?

If an emergency situation arises that requires a notification to be sent to multiple phone numbers and/or contact paths, we will activate the system to place a sequential calls/notifications to all of your numbers and contact paths. Depending on the type of emergency, the activating official may configure the notification to require a confirmation before the retries to your phone number(s) and contact path(s) cease. For non-emergency matters, you may receive a single call at your primary phone number, with an answering machine message left if no answer is received.

Will the AlertTC system work if I have a call screening system on my phone?

There are several varieties of call screening devices and services, which use differing protocols for screening. In general, the system has been found to work with these devices and services, however, some may require pre-programming to allow the county's or city's telephone number to pass through.

How does the AlertTC system respond to busy signals or no-answer situations?

For busy signals and network busy (fast busy) signals, the call will be retried several times in an attempt to reach you. If the phone is not answered, the system will make additional attempts over several minutes to reach you. If an answering machine or voicemail system is received, the system will leave a message by default, unless configured by the initiating official to make live deliveries only (such as during an emergency where information will likely change by the time an answering machine message is played).

Can I "opt out" of AlertTC calls?

Residents and businesses are free to opt-out from non-emergency calls; however, we strongly discourage this. The AlertTC service may be used to send information that is time-sensitive and sometimes critical. If you choose to opt out of the system, it will prevent the county or city from notifying you of important and potentially life-saving information.

If you would still like to opt out of the system, please submit your request through the Opt-Out Form.

How do I change or delete information I registered?

Information can be changed or deleted by using the Public Sign-up Portal linked from the home page. Then choose the option to edit or delete your information.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

If you have more questions about AlertTC, please email alerttc@tularehhsa.org.