Madera County Sheriff John Anderson is planning a countywide emergency alert test May 15, and urges anyone who has not signed up with MCAlert.org to do so.
Extreme fire conditions are expected this summer, and the emergency notification system has been updated so people in danger of wildfire can be alerted within minutes.
Anderson said the system now allows the department to send alerts via email or cell phone no matter where the location, but only to those who are registered.
The purpose of the emergency test is to inform and demonstrate the system's new capabilities and to find out which areas of the county are not responding.
Alerts can be sent by the Madera County Sheriff's Office and Madera Office of Emergency Services for situations such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, evacuations, law enforcement activity and notifications of nearby threats such as fires.
People who sign up can choose how they want to receive the alerts, whether it be through their home or business phone, cell phone, email, text message or devices for the hearing-impaired.
The service is free. All information that is provided to MCAlert is confidential and will be used for the sole purpose of issuing alerts if a disaster strikes in the region of Madera County.
To sign up, visit www.MCAlert.org, or call Erica Stuart at (559) 675-7770.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6015 or email@example.com.