One of the best ways of staying informed of civic information is by letting that information come to you — instead of searching it out each time. This week, I focus on 3 services that provide up-to-the moment info on various aspects of civil life. These are all separate from the Amber Alert/Emergency Warnings we are all familiar with and do not have the accompanying emergency tones that startle us all.
For me, I most often relied on the Notify LA system to advise me of Red Flag Alerts and their associated parking restrictions in hillside neighborhoods. When I was visiting computer clients more often int he past, this would let me know if I might need to reschedule appointments as I wouldn’t be able to park in the neighborhood if their driveway did not provide sufficient space. Even though I live in the flats of the SFV, I needed to remain aware of this information to prevent issues with my business — a great reason to sign up.
Notify LA Email and Text Messages
There are a variety of ways that the City of Los Angeles can reach you during an emergency. Residents are encouraged to sign up for all alert platforms relevant to where they live, work, and spend time in Los Angeles. Residents can provide multiple points of contacts, multiple addresses for alerts, and set language preferences by registering for the alert systems offered by the City of Los Angeles.
Sign Up for Alerts
The City of Los Angeles strongly recommends subscribing to both of the following systems:
NotifyLA – Create an account to receive urgent notifications about local emergencies by phone, email, and/or text message. Subscribe to alerts for your neighborhood, schools, businesses, media, and other interest areas. Powered by Everbridge.
Log in to manage your settings – Learn more about NotifyLA
Nixle – Text your zip code to 888777 to opt-in or sign up online to receive email, text or voice messages with alerts and advisories from local law enforcement. This will sign you up to receive alerts from all agencies using Nixle in your zip code.
Sign in to modify your location or settings. List of local agencies using Nixle.
LADWP Outage Notices
LADWP now provides a 24/7 outage alert service for customers to receive outage information for up to three (3) neighborhoods. Notifications are for major incidents only. Customers have the option of receiving notifications via texts, emails or both. Messages will be sent after a significant outage occurs, when updates are available, and when power is restored. Please note that outages may affect only portions of a neighborhood, so you may receive an alert even if you are not experiencing an outage.
SCAQMD Air Alerts
South Coast AQMD is helping Southern California residents learn to make clean air choices that will help reduce air pollution, including knowing when it’s important to curtail use of wood-burning fireplaces.
Bad air quality can contribute to harmful diseases like asthma, lung disease and cancer in some cases. Smoke from residential wood-burning can aggravate health conditions. Check below for more information on how seasons affect air quality and steps you can take to help reduce air pollution, and to sign up to start receiving your air quality forecast and notifications today.
All of these sites also have Twitter feeds you can follow for similar information should you wish to receive alerts in that fashion.
So, just what is “civics” anyway?
Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.
Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. — League of Women Voters of Delaware.
In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you?