Public Alerts

Whenever a significant incident occurs in Whatcom County, the Whatcom Unified Emergency Operations Center uses various methods to notify the media and the public. One of those methods is a messaging system called AlertSense. AlertSense allows us to send a message to an email address, as a text message to a phone, and/or as a voice message to a phone. We also have the ability to send a message to everyone registered in the system, or we can target the message to only those who have registered to receive messages for specific geographic areas (i.e. cities, towns or communities).

Anyone can sign-up to receive Whatcom Unified AlertSense messages by clicking the image below.

Whatcom Unified Public Alert Sign Up Link

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How often do you send out messages / alerts using this system?

A: We typically only send out alerts to notify the public of incidents that have life safety, public health, or similar implications. We may occasionally send out alerts to notify specific geographic areas of a planned or anticipated event which may cause some level of disruption in that area (e.g. major road work, a disaster related exercise, a planned concert or protest rally, etc.). Finally, we may also send out a test message once or twice a year to all registered users, just so you can become familiar with what a Whatcom Unified Emergency Management AlertSense message looks or sounds like.

Q: Do you share my information with anyone else?

A: No, we do not share your information with any third parties outside the Whatcom Unified Emergency Management partnership. Your contact information is used solely for the purpose of sending you alerts related to incidents or events we feel you should be aware of.

Q: Is it possible to “opt-out” of receiving messages / alerts if I change my mind in the future?

A: Absolutely. Simply give our office a call at 360-676-6681, and we’ll remove you from the database (we’ll need to confirm you are who you say you are first, of course).

Q: Is this the best way to receive information about incidents that occur in Whatcom County?

A: This is an important messaging tool that gives us the ability to quickly “push” alerts out to your email account, landline phone, and in most cases, mobile phone. Because of this, we encourage all Whatcom County residents to sign-up. However, we use AlertSense sparingly, and only in specific circumstances. For instances where this system may not be appropriate, we will utilize other messaging tools to provide information to the public, such as this website, selected social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, G+, etc.), and our local television, radio and newsprint media partners.