“The Telephone Emergency
Notification System (TENS) is a technological tool in advanced warning
states Big Bear Fire Chief Jeff Willis.
The Big Bear Fire Department encourages
Mountain residents and homeowners to register their cell phone numbers and
Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones with San Bernardino County.
The Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS)
uses listed and unlisted numbers in the region’s 9-1-1 database to alert residents of
life-threatening emergencies and San Bernardino County updates this database
every six months. TENS is a proven success, and has placed hundreds of calls during
wildfire and flood events since its creation in 2004.
However, the 9-1-1 database only includes landline telephones, so
other numbers must be registered. If a
resident wishes to receive an emergency alert text message on their cell phone
or an emergency call on their IPhone, they must register the number in the
San Bernardino County has provided a website for
residents to sign-up for this feature.
Go to: http://sbcounty.gov/sbcfire/TENS/TENSContact.Aspx
or you can access the site at www.bigbearfire.com look under Current Events.
TENS is only used in potentially life threatening incidents
such as an evacuation during a wildfire or other public safety related
information. When the County deems it
necessary to activate TENS, it will
call the numbers in the 9-1-1 landline database in the
affected area, and another separate alert will also go out via a text message
to the cell phone of those residents who have signed up for these alerts. In addition, a call will also be placed to
any VoIP numbers that have been registered.
The TENS system is currently
TTY and TDD capable, however residents who use these devices are encouraged to
enter their numbers using this feature so that the County can ensure they
receive a message appropriate for their device.
For the Big Bear Valley residents, “The TENS system is a technological tool in
advanced warning systems,” states Fire Chief Jeff Willis. “Since many households do not have landlines
these days, this additional method will go further towards alerting residents
and enhancing the overall safety of the Mountain Community members.”
Be prepared BEFORE disaster strikes! The emergency service agencies utilize
multiple ways to notify residents of impending danger, but residents should not
wait for or rely exclusively on any single notification system. If you are concerned about your safety and
welfare, please evacuate.