Portland to test emergency notification system Thursday

Portland to test emergency notification system Thursday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management will test the community notification system for the first time Thursday, Jan. 26.

During the citywide test, PBEM will send a single message via land line phone, cellphone, text and email to as many Portland residents as possible in the shortest amount of time, according to PBEM spokesman Randy Neves.

The test will occur at 11 a.m., Thursday.

The new system has been used before in real, small-scale emergencies, but has never been successfully tested on a large scale, Neves said.

“We want this test to expose any weaknesses in the system,” said PBEM Director Carmen Merlo.

PBEM is asking Portland residents to sign up for public alerts so they can receive the test message. Personal information users provide during registration is kept private and only used to send geographically tailored emergency messages, Neves said.

PBEM officials say the community notification system may serve as an invaluable communication tool during natural disasters and other emergencies.