The Contra Costa Community Awareness & Emergency Response (CAER) organization was created in 1988 and was made up of safety and emergency response professionals.

In August 1993, CAER, working with the Contra Costa County Health Services Department, formed the Community Notification Committee comprised of agency, industry, and community representatives to provide recommendations to create a county-wide Community Warming System.

By December, the team developed a report outlining specific recommendations on an alerting and notification system that would benefit the residents of Contra Costa County. The report was then approved by the county’s Hazardous Material Commission and the County Board of Supervisors.

In 2001, the CAER non-profit organization turned the Community Warning System over to the county. Today, the Contra Costa County Community Warning System (CWS) is recognized as one of the nation’s most modern and effective-all hazard public warning systems. The CWS is a partnership of the Office of the Sheriff, the Health Services Department, other government agencies, industry, news media and the CAER organization, all striving to deliver time-sensitive and potentially life saving information to the residents of Contra Costa County.