CWS 101-Basics

The Contra Costa County Community Warning System (CWS) is one of the nation’s most modern and effective all-hazard public warning systems. CWS is an all-hazards system designed to alert the community of an emergency through multiple communication tools.
The CWS sends you an alert when there is an imminent threat that could affect life safety or your health. The CWS provides the alert receiver (you!) with information about the hazard, and the protective action you should take for your safety.
Some examples of common types of emergencies the system is activated for are:
  • Evacuation Warnings
  • Evacuation Orders
  • Hazardous Material Incidents
  • Law Enforcement Activities
  • Missing Persons,
  • Gas Leaks
  • Human-Caused Disasters, etc.
  • The CWS may also be used to advise affected members of the public when follow-up action is required, or when the protective actions are no longer necessary.
    CWS utilizes a many tools to alert you. These tools include landlines, registered VoIP lines, cell phone calls & text messages, and e-mail. How you receive an alert is based off of many factors such as if you have an existing traditional landline, and what options you choose to receive when you register with the CWS. Additionally, we provide alert information on, to our social media feeds (Follow us @CoCoCWS on Facebook & Twitter); via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alerting (WEA) system. The CWS also uses sirens and NOAA Weather Radios. For more information on each one of these tools please see our Notification Methods section.
    So that you know, the protective action you will be advised to take is incident dependent. Some everyday protective actions include: sheltering in place, avoiding the area, evacuating immediately, etc.
    Remember that the emergency alert is designed to provide initial information and instructions regarding the incident. Please keep yourself informed by monitoring other public safety warnings and information systems (such as TV and radio) whenever possible. If you have any questions regarding an incident occurring in your area, you can also check this website for any active alerts.