Jun 27, 2013 2:45 PM by David Aguilar & Katie Ferber, KSBY News

Local cities urge residents to sign up for emergency alert systems

In the wake of Sunday's power outage that left approximately 150,000 customers in the dark from Solvang to Atascadero, officials in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria have released the number of calls into 911 dispatchers.

During the outage, which started at approximately 9:15 PM, San Luis Obispo emergency dispatchers received 309 phone calls.

Of those calls, fire officials responded to 22 incidents. Police responded to 80. A majority of the other calls were due to people asking about the power outage.

To put the amount of calls received in perspective, on the same day last year, dispatch received 33 calls.

In Santa Maria, dispatchers received 600 phone calls in the first 90 minutes of the outage. A majority of the calls were from people asking if there was a power outage and when power would be restored.

During significant events, officials in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria urge the public to register their contact information with their respective emergency notification systems.

The San Luis Obispo Police Department began using Nixle, an online information service, to send public messages via email or text message to specific geographic regions.

To sign up for Nixle notification, you can visit www.nixle.com or send a text message with your zip code to "888777."

In Santa Maria, residents can register in the City to Resident notification system which allows City personnel to send and track personalized voice messages with specific information about time-sensitive or common-interest issues or emergencies to any numbers of residents and business.

To sign up, visit the Santa Maria city website and click on the orange icon that says "Community Alert and Notification System, Sign Up Now."



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