Cupertino Working to Get Residents to Sign Up for Emergency Alert System

By Terry McSweeney
|  Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014  |  Updated 11:24 PM PDT
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Cupertino city officials are working to get residents to sign up for an emergency alert system that will notify them of natural disasters in the area. Terry McSweeney reports.

Cupertino city officials are working to get residents to sign up for an emergency alert system that will notify them of natural disasters in the area. Terry McSweeney reports.

Cupertino city officials are working to get residents to sign up for an emergency alert system that will notify them of natural disasters in the area.

The push comes from concerns over possible flooding if the Stevens Creek reservoir were to fail.

"The worst-case scenario would be five feet of water in Cupertino within 25 minutes," said Dr. Andy Huang, Cupertino's public safety commissioner. "And we want people to have that time to get out of their homes."

City volunteers are planning to knock on 2,500 doors this weekend in the inundation zone to get residents on the emergency alert system. Volunteers will be asking residents for permission to put their address, home phone and cell phone information into a data base.

"When we are trying to send a message to 50,000 people SMS text is most efficient," Huang said.

The city is planning for a worst-case scenario.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District, which operates the reservoir, said it is extremely unlikely Stevens Creek will give way and cites scientific analysis from last year.

Santa Clara County has its own emergency alert system in place. But Cupertino would like to have everyone in the inundation zone in its own system -- an effort that was less than 10 percent successful last year.

View more in Terry McSweeney's video report above.

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