Notifications

In every emergency incident, the City of Benicia prioritizes response actions based on the situation. Regardless of the situation, life safety is always the first and most important priority, followed by protection of property, and then environment. In some incidents, the best action we can take to ensure life safety, is to have citizens evacuate the area or shelter in place. When this tactic is chosen, we must immediately and effectively communicate with the impacted community. Our primary platform to do this is the Alert Solano Emergency Notification System. 
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Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) System

For the most critical, time sensitive messaging we have the ability to send Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). WEA messages are sent to all mobile devices in a geographical area regardless of whether the device has been registered for alerts.
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Community Alert & Notification (CAN) System

The Community Alert & Notification (CAN) system consists of 7 large sirens mounted on poles strategically placed throughout the community. CAN notifications can be sent independently or in conjunction with AlertSolano notifications. If you hear the sirens, check your phone for AlertSolano messages or check social media - Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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AlertSolano

In every emergency incident, Benicia Fire Department staff prioritize their actions based on the situation. Regardless of the situation, life safety is always the first and most important priority, followed by protection of property, and then environmental protection. In some incidents, the best action we can take to ensure life safety is to have citizens evacuate an area or shelter in place. When this tactic is chosen, we must immediately and effectively communicate with the impacted community. Our primary platform to do this is the Alert Solano Emergency Notification System.

The AlertSolano emergency notification system started as Alert Benicia and was later adopted countywide. It allows time-sensitive messages to be sent to home phones, mobile devices, business phones, email address, text messages and more. ​Anyone can register their contact information and locations for these alerts. We currently have over 20,000 contacts registered to receive alerts in Benicia.

Alert Solano messaging is only used for true emergencies, such as an immediate threat to public safety or when residents are required to take action (evacuate, shelter in place, etc.). The concern is, if Alert Solano messages are sent on a regular basis for non-emergencies, then its impact will be lessened for true emergency messages.

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Incident Notifications

The Benicia Fire Department's first and most important priority is life safety, followed by protection of property, and then environmental protection. When there is not an immediate threat to life safety, the appropriate action is to mitigate the threat. This may include extinguishing the fire or controlling a hazardous materials leak. In instances when there is not an immediate threat to life safety, the appropriate initial action is to utilize staff to mitigate the situation.

Benicia Fire Department staff have done their best to keep the community informed and have taken many steps to improve communications with the community. When there is no immediate threat to residents or properties, there are often times when all staff must be dedicated to mitigating the incident and no staff are available for messaging. If there is an immediate threat, the affected populations are always notified as soon as possible via AlertSolano, the CAN notification system, or by WEA.

The Benicia Incident Notification System was implemented in 2021 as a response to residents requesting alerts for all situations, regardless of whether it posed an immediate threat to public safety. This tool will notify you via text and/or email about non-emergent incidents such as​ routine refinery flaring or drift smoke in Benicia. Incident Notifications inform residents of an incident with no immediate impact to their health or safety. Because of this, Incident Notifications are only sent when staff is available and will usually be sent after the mitigation action is complete. To receive Incident Notifications, please enter your email and/or phone number on this page under "Incident Notifications." 

As a reminder, if there is an immediate threat to public safety or a call to action, such as an evacuation warning or a shelter in place order, an AlertSolano message will be sent. The Incident Notification tool is used to share information about incidents that do not pose an immediate threat to public safety and do not require action by residents. Every time an AlertSolano message or Incident Notification is sent, the same message will be posted on social media - Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Social Media

As social media has become more prevalent, the City has increase its social media presence. Social media has been a successful way to interact with the public about both emergency and non-emergency information. Every time an AlertSolano message or Incident Notification is sent, the same message will be posted on social media - Nextdoor, Facebook, and Instagram. Social media posts will also include informational items such as public education and outreach.