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Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Readiness. Response. Recovery.

Phone: 503-823-4375

Fax: 503-823-3903

TDD: 503-823-3947

4. Register for PublicAlerts

PublicAlerts logo

PublicAlerts is the name of our local community emergency notification system. Police, firefighters, water and sewer officials and other emergency responders activate this system to send information and instructions about local incidents such as police activity in your neighborhood, a hazardous materials or natural gas leak or flooding.

Have you registered?

If you want to receive these alerts by text message and email -- the fastest way to get them -- you have to "opt-in" by visiting PublicAlerts.org and registering your mobile numbers and email addresses.

We receive most landline telephone information from cable (VoIP) and landline telephone service providers. That allows us to deliver voice notifications to people who have landlines without registration. But don't let that stop you from signing up. It can take hours for voice notifications to be delivered due to limitations of the phone system. It takes seconds or minutes to deliver text messages and emails, depending on the size of the notification.

Other ways we notify you:

1. Emergency Alert System (EAS): When that odd squelching sound interrupts your radio or television program with information about inclement weather, you are receiving an emergency notification through the Emergency Alert System. This system can be used for many kinds of emergency notifications including fast-moving fires, air quality problems, flooding, even a volcanic eruption.

2. Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA): A Wireless Emergency Alert can be sent to your smartphone if it is WEA enabled. Registration for this type of alert is not required. Most iPhones, Droids and other new smartphones have this capability and, in most cases, your phone is enabled to receive the alerts unless you disable the feature.

This is what it looks like on most iPhones (4s or more recent). Check out the bottom of the screenshot on the right to see what "enabled" looks like. (Settings > Notifications > Government alerts)

iPhone screenshot of emergency alert  iPhone screenshot of emergency alert settings     

Here's what it typically looks like on newer Droid smartphones. (Menu > Settings > Emergency Alerts)

smartphone screenshot of emergency alert  smartphone screenshot of emergency alert display page  smartsphone screenshot of emergency alert settings

(Note: Don't let the recent receipt of a WEA fool you. It's different than PublicAlerts, even if it displays similarly on your mobile device. To get PublicAlerts by text or email, you have to register.)

3. Citywide email.

4. Local news.

We ask reporters to help us spread the word about emergencies. Local TV and radio stations will receive press releases and updates on incidents are soon as it's available.

5. Social media: Follow us on Facebook and twitter!

PublicAlerts: @PublicAlerts

Portland Bureau of Emergency Management: Facebook and @PortlandBEM

Portland Bureau of Transportation: Facebook and @PBOTinfo

Portland Police Bureau: Facebook and @PortlandPolice

Portland Fire & Rescue: Facebook and @pdxfire

Portland Water Bureau: Facebook and @portlandwater

Other great resources:

National Weather Service: Facebook and @NWSPortland

TriMet: Facebook and @TriMet

Oregon Department of Transportation: Facebook and @OregonDOT

Oregon TripCheck: @TripCheckPDX @TripCheckI_5A @TripCheckI_84A (Multiple accounts for different areas. Click here for the full list.)

Oregon Emergency Management: @OregonOEM

Oregon State Police: @ORStatePolice

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10: @FEMAregion10