Campus Alert System

Frequently-Asked Questions

The following Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) may help answer some of the questions you may have about the Contra Costa Community College District Campus Alert System (4CD Alert):

Why did the District install a Campus Alert System (4CD Alert)?

The District places communication during an emergency or crisis situation as a top priority. We have a responsibility to communicate quickly with students, staff and the surrounding community, and to encourage appropriate actions that will prevent injuries and save lives.

On what campuses have alert sirens been installed?

Alert sirens have been installed at Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, and the San Ramon Campus.

What about the Brentwood Center?

The Brentwood Center is a smaller, single level facility that does not require a siren system. On-site Police Services and trained safety committee personnel are available to provide notice during an emergency or crisis situation.

What do the alert sirens look like and where are they located?

At the San Ramon Center, a single siren has been sited inside an attic space. On the other sites, a cluster of four sirens has been placed on a central rooftop location. This minimizes visual impact and maximizes the audible range of the alert siren.

What should I do when I hear the alert siren?

If you hear the alert siren sounding for longer than one minute, you should "Shelter" (go to a safe indoor location), "Shut" (close and lock all doors and windows, turn off ventilation systems), and "Listen" (tune to KCBS AM 740 or FM 106.9, or KTVU-2 for information or instructions). The latest emergency information will also be posted on the District website at www.4cd.edu. Do not assume an emergency or crisis situation is over because the siren stops sounding. Remain in place until official sources issue an "all clear" notification or provide other instructions.

Will I hear the alert siren only in an emergency?

No. You will also hear the alert siren when it is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 11:00 a.m. along with the rest of the Contra Costa County Community Warning System (CCC CWS).

What's the difference between a test alert and a real emergency alert?

The monthly test alert lasts approximately 50 seconds. In a real emergency or crisis situation, the siren sound will last for three minutes.

How will we know what to do when the system is activated?

The District, along with the CCC CWS, developed and is implementing a community outreach and education program that has targeted students, staff, and the surrounding campus communities about 4CD Alert and what to do when the system is activated. In addition, posters will be displayed throughout the campuses, stories run in the college papers, and permanent signage installed on campuses reminding what steps to take when the system is activated.

Who has the authority to activate the system?

Designated college administrators have the authority to request activation of the 4CD Alert System. Only District Police Services and the Office of Emergency Services Community Warning System staff have the authority to activate the system.

What is the difference between the "alerting" and "informing" aspects of emergency communication?

Alerting is the step that notifies of an emergency or crisis situation. Informing is the companion step that provides information regarding the hazard or incident, and what you should do. An effective warning system requires both.

In what other ways does the District communicate during an emergency or crisis situation?

The 4CD Alert System is only one component of a larger communication plan that includes the District and college websites as well as CCE-TV (a cable access station run by Contra Costa College). The District continues to explore other communication options including e-mail/text message alerts, indoor messaging, scrolling message boards, and the District portal.

What is Alerting Solutions?

Alerting Solutions (formerly Hormann America) is the firm that developed and installed the 4CD Alert System. Their president, Efraim Petel, is a recognized world leader in the development and implementation of public alert and warning systems. His emergency notification system clients include the country of Israel, government of Singapore, Republic of China (Taiwan), state of New Jersey, Pueblo County in Colorado, and Contra Costa County in California.