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Sunday's Fire Showed Effectiveness of the City's Alert System

About 1,500 residents were able to be contacted and warned about the blaze. A previously scheduled test of the system is set for Thursday.

About 1,500 residents living near the location of Sunday's four-acre brush fire were able to be alerted through the county's AlertOC system, according to Laguna Beach's AlertOC coordinator Jordan Villwock, who operates out of the Laguna Beach Police Department.

In perhaps a bit of fortuitous timing, a test of the AlertOC system had already been scheduled several weeks ago. The test is happening this Thursday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. to mark National Disaster Preparedness Month.

Thursday's test will examine the ways which people and businesses can be quickly informed in the event of an emergency, such as Sunday's fire.

All Laguna Beach land-line phone numbers are already preregistered with the program, but through the AlertOC.com website, you can also add your cell phones, work phones, email addresses, text messaging contacts and TDD/TTY devices to the system.

"It's basically a web-based application, so you can choose to be contacted in many different ways," Villwock tells Patch. "We can alert people citywide, or just in a specific area or radius, like a street. For example, on Sunday, it wouldn't have made much sense to alert people in North Laguna for a fire that was happening in South Laguna, at least at the time."

If you want to participate in Thursday's test, click up the AlertOC.com website right here and register your info.

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