Emergency Notifications

Email or SMS (Text Message)

Nixle is a service that sends alerts by email and text message. These alerts include Traffic, Spills, Amber Alerts and others. To subscribe to this service, go to http://www.nixle.com or text your ZIP code to 888777.


Lamorinda CERT uses SMS text messages to communicate during disasters. A text message will come from 797-979 and will describe briefly what is needed. Please respond whether or not you are available to help. Occasional tests of the system will be announced in the Monthly Newsletter before any tests.


The Community Warning System is able to send notifications to residents and businesses within Contra Costa County impacted by, or in danger of being impacted by, an emergency or disaster. The system is used to notify homes and businesses at risk with information about the event and actions they are advised to take. The system uses the countywide 9-1-1 database, provided by a local telephone company, and is thus able to contact landline phones whether listed or unlisted. It is TTY/TTD capable.

Because the system uses the 9-1-1 database, only landline numbers are in the system. If you have a cell phone or a Voice over IP (VoIP) provider such as Comcast, Magic Jack, Vonage, etc., these phones must be registered with CWS for them to receive alerts.

To register a cell phone in Contra Costa County go to https://cwsalerts.com

FRS – GMRS Radio

FRS and GMRS Radios are used at the neighborhood level to notify and coordinate. These are very short range, inexpensive radios. FRS does not require a license, GMRS requires a household license but no test. GMRS has more power and a longer range. In Lamorinda, we recommend the use of Repeater Capable GMRS radios. There are GMRS repeaters in each of the three cities.

  • Moraga = Channel 20R sub 4 LARIG Channel 121
  • Orinda = Channel 21R sub 4 LARIG Channel 122
  • Lafayette = Channel 22R sub 4 LARIG Channel 123

HAM Radio

Ham radios are used for longer distance communications. Licenses are required. Training classes for Technician Licenses are held regularly in the Lamorinda area. See the Lamorinda CERT website for training sessions.

S.A.M.E. Weather Radios

Another way to get alerts without relying on cell towers, the internet or AT&T is to have a Weather Radio with S.A.M.E. technology. The CWS can activate all Weather Radios in Contra Costa and send an alarm. It’s loud enough to wake anyone, 90db. You can also get a flashing red light attachment. These are inexpensive. One model that has been tested and is reliable and inexpensive is Midland Radio’s NOAA Weather Alert Radio with S.A.M.E., Trilingual, and Alarm – WR120