Sign up now for emergency alerts and learn where to find reliable information in an emergency.
In an emergency, officials may use different tools to share information and instructions. Get familiar with these tools now, and sign up if needed, to be ready to get alerts in an emergency.
Download the Emergency Alerting brochure.
In an Emergency
During an emergency, check these sources for instructions and information for the Berkeley community:
Real-time evacuation maps are available at Zonehaven, where you can look up your zone using your address and find resources to stay informed.
If you have signed up for AC Alert, you may receive messages about the emergency through phone and email.
If you have not signed up, you can monitor Alameda County Office of Emergency Service's Twitter account for AC Alert messages throughout Alameda County.
- 1610 AM (emergency information only)
- KPFB - 89.3 FM (may rebroadcast 1610 AM information)
- KCBS - 740 AM
- KQED - 88.5 FM
- KSOL - 98.9 FM (Spanish)
Follow the City of Berkeley’s Twitter account.
All television channels will broadcast messages sent by Alameda County through the Emergency Alert System. Local news networks may also carry specific information and instructions from authorities.
Share emergency information and instructions with the people around you. Verify that information is from a credible source.
These systems are not guaranteed to work in an emergency. Make sure you know how to find emergency information from many different sources.
Prepare to Receive Emergency Information
Sign up and prepare to use these systems now, before an emergency occurs. In an emergency, officials may use many different tools to communicate information and instructions.
These systems are not guaranteed to work in an emergency. To ensure that you have access to information from multiple sources in an emergency, review the available systems below. Please note that some systems require you to sign up or to purchase special equipment to receive alerts.
AC Alert is Berkeley’s primary emergency alerting system for the public. It is one of the tools the City of Berkeley uses to communicate emergency information and instructions to the community. AC Alert can send:
- Voice alerts to phones
- SMS text messages
- TTY/TDD messages
Community members must sign up to receive voice or text alerts on cell phones, VoIP phones, unlisted phones, TTY/TDDs, or through email. Once you have an AC Alert account, you can also download the Everbridge App to receive non-emergency messages from AC Alert on your smart phone (iOS or Android).
Officials will send advisory messages (including Red Flag Warnings, traffic alerts, and other important messages) via email and the Everbridge App only.
Officials will send emergency messages (such as orders to evacuate or shelter-in-place) to subscribers on all devices, including text and voice messages to cell phones. Listed AT&T "land lines" are also automatically included to receive voice messages from AC Alert for emergency messages.
Zonehaven provides real-time evacuation maps. Community members should review the map to learn their zone before an emergency. When evacuations are ordered, emergency alerts will refer to evacuation zones on these maps.
1610 AM is an FCC-licensed radio station run by the City of Berkeley. The station plays recorded messages. In a disaster, the City may use 1610 AM to disseminate emergency information and instructions to the Berkeley community.
The 1610 AM broadcast is audible in most, but not all, areas of Berkeley. The City has authorized KPFA radio to rebroadcast or simulcast the 1610 AM signal on KPFB - 89.3 FM. In an emergency, KPFA staff will determine whether or not to rebroadcast or simulcast the 1610 AM signal.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
In an emergency, you may receive a brief text message with a special alert tones on your cell phone. This is called a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) message. Government agencies send WEA messages to alert community members to emergency situations requiring their attention, such as a shelter-in-place or evacuation order. The most common WEA message is an Amber Alert sent by the California Highway Patrol.
If there is a critical threat to the Berkeley community, officials may send out a WEA message to cell phone towers in the affected area. The cell phone towers will send the message to all phones within reach, even if they are outside of the affected area.
You cannot sign up to receive WEA messages, and you should not rely only on WEA for your emergency alerts. WEA messages are very brief and may not contain all of the detailed instructions you might need in an emergency. Instead, sign up for AC Alert and prepare to receive emergency information from the other sources described on this page.
Emergency Alert System (EAS)
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is the national public warning system. It requires television and radio broadcasters to enable the President to address the American public during a national emergency. Authorities may also use the system to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.
In Berkeley, your EAS radio stations are KCBS - 740 AM, KQED - 88.5 FM, and KSOL - 98.9 FM (Spanish).
WarnME (UC Berkeley)
WarnME is UC Berkeley’s alert and warning service for UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty. WarnME is not the same as the AC Alert system. You must have an @berkeley.edu email address to be eligible to receive these alerts.
Earthquake Notification Service (US Geological Survey)
The Earthquake Notification Service sends email notifications to subscribers when an earthquake happens in their area.