More than 500,000 San Diegans evacuated from their homes this week. Many got calls in the middle of the night warning them to get out. Several more did not because they do not have landlines.
The fact is, if you live in San Diego, you know someone (or are someone) who got a reverse-911 phone call this week.
If you don't have a landline (I'm a cell phone-only kinda woman), then the City of San Diego has provided a method to register your cell phone number for reverse-911.
If you don't live in San Diego, contact your municipality to find out if this type of early warning system exists in your area.
Registering cell phones for Reverse 911
The city and county of San Diego have been alerting residents via home phones to evacuate in the wake of various fires for several days.
But city of San Diego residents can also register their cell phones to receive emergency alerts, such as an evacuation notice. To register, go to this Web site -- http://www.sandiego.gov/ohs/reverse911/index.shtml -- and enter the number, account address and personal e-mail. (It only works in IE on a PC.)
The county launched Alert San Diego -- a technologically advanced version of Reverse 911 -- last month and also has the capability to contact residents via cell phone. But county officials said they have yet to set up a Web site where people can register.
-- Craig Gustafson, staff writer