A new computer-controlled telephone message system has been installed in several West Valley cities to help notify residents of local emergencies.
The Community Alert Network, which can notify 6,000 residents an hour with recorded emergency messages, is available in the cities of Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Hidden Hills and unincorporated sections of Los Angeles County served by the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station.
The project is coordinated by the sheriff's station with support from the Las Virgenes Unified School District, the Las Virgenes Water District and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. The three agencies also have access to the system.
Deputy Kevin Augarten, who is coordinating the network, said each participating body pays an annual fee of $12,000. The payment covers updates of phone numbers and addresses and other related expenses. Only listed phone numbers are called.
The computerized system dials numbers in the designated areas with emergency information, Augarten said. The system can also leave messages on answering machines and works with telecommunication devices for the deaf.
Each city is authorized to activate the network only within its boundaries.
Anyone who wants to add their phone number to the system should send their name, address and phone number with area code to Community Alert Network, 255 Washington Ave., Suite 105, Albany, NY 12205, or fax the information to (518) 862-0312.