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  Community Warning Systems Tests Not at Normal Time
August 12, 2013


What: Community Warning System (CWS) will conduct a public test of a potential new emergency telephone notification service provider to test its call capacity and call quality. 

What IS being tested?  Only testing the phones portion of the CWS – which includes voice calls to landlines in the predetermined area AND voice calls, text messages and emails to devices pre-registered with the CWS.

What is NOT being tested?  Sirens, Emergency Alert System, NOAA weather radios, CMAS (Commercial Mobil Alerting System), Facebook, Twitter.  The CWS is a very robust and integrated system and the phone vendor is not responsible for the activation of any of these additional tools. 

When: August 28th, 2013 between 5:30pm and 8:00pm
Pittsburg/Antioch areas surrounding Dow Chemical facility – beginning at 5:30pm
Martinez/Pacheco area surrounding Shell Refinery – beginning at 6:00pm
Crockett/Rodeo area surrounding Phillips 66 Refinery – beginning at 6:30pm
Richmond/San Pablo area surrounding Chevron Refinery – beginning at 7:00pm

Where:  The test will be conducted in the TENS Zones surrounding the 4 refineries:
Portions of Pittsburg and Antioch surrounding Dow Chemical facility
Portions of Martinez and Pacheco surrounding Shell Refinery
Portions of Crockett and Rodeo surrounding Phillips 66 Refinery
Portions of Richmond and San Pablo surrounding Chevron Refinery

Residents who either live in this area or who have registered to receive alerts in this area will receive the test alert.  To register to receive emergency alerts go to www.cococws.us.

What is a TENS Zone?  Who is in the TENS Zones?  TENS zones (Telephone emergency notification system) are predetermined by Contra Costa Health Services as areas most likely to be affected if a release occurs at one of the hazardous materials facilities based on location and typical weather patterns. (Maps will be provided and available for review by Monday, August 12, 2013 at www.cococws.us)

The goal of this test is to test the call capacity of the various TENS zones and to test the call quality of the potential provider. 
Conducting a public test of the Community Warning System, especially the phones portion, is somewhat unprecedented in Public Alerting. 
While the Community Warning System has many notification tools and urge people to be tapped into as many as possible, the phones have continually been the most problematic tool that we utilize.
Due to the ongoing issues with telephony providers during emergencies, the Community Warning System wants to make sure it is doing everything possible to be provide better service during emergencies.


Additional Considerations:
There will be 4 separate activations – one for each refinery’s TENS Zones, so residents who have registered for the entire county will receive 4 separate test alerts.

The phone number during the test will be 000-000-0000.

For any media inquiries regarding this test please contact Jimmy Lee at the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office at (925) 313-2643.