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iAlert Frequently Asked Questions 
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  •  How can I sign-up to receive notifications?

Sign-up online by filling out an iAlert Registration Form.

  • How does the iAlert service work?

Authorized officials record a voice, e-mail, or text message that is then delivered quickly to individuals in the notification system.

Authorized officials record a voice, e-mail, or text message that is then delivered quickly to individuals in the notification system.

  • What types of messages will be sent using the iAlert service?

The primary use of the system will be to disseminate messages pertaining to the health, safety, or welfare of an area of the community that is being affected by a perceived, emerging, or imminent emergency event.

  • Is my contact information included in the iAlert system database?

    iAlert contains residential and commercial landline phone numbers of Irvine’s entire geographic population.  In accordance with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulations, landline numbers were acquired from AT&T 911 telephone database. The use of the 911 database is regulated by the CPUC code sections 2872 and 2891.1. The code states that information contained in the 911 database is confidential, proprietary, and shall not be disclosed or used except by authorized personnel for the purpose of emergency notifications.

It is important and recommended that community members provide additional phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and a text number by registering through the iAlert Web portal. THE DATABASE DOES NOT CONTAIN CELL PHONE NUMBERS. IT IS EXTEMELY IMPORTANT TO REGISTER YOUR CELL PHONE IF YOU DON’T HAVE A HOME OR BUSINESS LAND LINE PHONE.  Each address location can have up to three phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and one text number.

  • What precautions are taken to protect personal contact information stored in the iAlert system?

iAlert is a service powered by Connect-CTY®, a product of Blackboard Connect, Inc. (BCI). The City of Irvine and BCI take citizen security and privacy concerns seriously. Policy and contract agreements have been put into practice that prohibit iAlert contact information from being shared, sold, traded, leased, or loaned to outside parties. Staff access to citizen contact information is limited and approved at many levels. Citizen-provided contact information transmitted through the Web portal is sent over a secure connection.

From a technical perspective, BCI utilizes multiple physical and virtual layers of firewalls to maintain data security. Data is hosted in state-of-the-art facilities which require photo identification, thumb-print recognition, keyed access, and are continually staffed with full-security personnel. All data is encrypted prior to being placed on tape for offsite storage. BCI also retains an external, independent security firm to perform annual security audits. No confidential information is transmitted between BCI and its customers using e-mail.  All such communication is conducted utilizing secure communication channels.

  • What if I don’t have a landline, can the iAlert system call my cell phone?

Yes, residents who have registered their cell phone numbers in the iAlert system will receive messages on their cell phone. Since there are many instances when the public may not be at home to receive an emergency message phone call, public safety officials recommend that all residents with a cell phone add their number to the iAlert database. 

  • Does the iAlert service replace other emergency notification systems?

This system supplements, but does not replace, other communication methods used by emergency responders. During an emergency, County or City call-in emergency information lines will still be available. Television, radio and county/city web sites along with 1640 AM will continue to broadcast important announcements as well.

  • If I have provided more than one phone number, which number will be called?

If an emergency situation arises that requires a notification to be sent to multiple phone numbers, we will activate the system to place a simultaneous call to all of your numbers. For matters with less urgency, you may be notified at only one phone, by e-mail, or text.  

  • Will the iAlert system call numbers outside of Orange County’s area codes?

     Yes. The area code does not impact whether or not a call is made.

  • Will the iAlert system work if I have a call screening system on my phone? 

There are several varieties of call screening devices which use differing protocols for screening. In general, the system has been found to work with these devices; however, some may require pre-programming to allow the City’s telephone number to pass through. We will be conducting periodic tests to assure that messages are being properly delivered to numbers in the notification database.

  • How does the iAlert system respond to busy signals or no-answer situations?

    For busy signals, call waiting signals or when there is not an answer, the call will be repeated several times in an attempt to reach you. If the phone is answered by a message recorder, the message will be left on the answering device. If after several attempts the call does not successfully go through, the system will stop attempting to call. 

There are several varieties of call screening devices which use differing protocols for screening. In general, the system has been found to work with these devices; however, some may require pre-programming to allow the City’s telephone number to pass through. We will be conducting periodic tests to assure that messages are being properly delivered to numbers in the notification database.

  • If I’m listening to a message live, is there a way to repeat it?

Yes, at the end of the message, simply press the star (*) key on your telephone to have it repeated in its entirety. 

  • Who is the legal entity responsible for iAlert?

    The City of Irvine is the sponsor and lead entity responsible for the iAlert program. The City of Irvine also has a separate contract for non-emergency use with the iAlert service provider, Blackboard Connect, Inc. 
  • How do I change or delete the information I registered?

    The iAlert website will soon offer a feature to change and delete information online. Until this feature is available, information can be changed or deleted by submitting an e-mail request to ialert@cityofirvine.org. 
  • Who do I contact if I have more questions?

    Please send an email to iAlert@cityofirvine.org and someone will get back to you promptly.