Translation Disclaimer

Fire Department
Fire Department

Emergency Alerting  

Many systems disseminate emergency information and instructions to the Berkeley community. In the event of an immediate threat to your life, health, or safety, the City of Berkeley and its government partners may activate their systems.

In an Emergency 

Prepare to Receive Emergency Information

Download the Emergency Alerting Brochure


 In an Emergency

These sources may have emergency instructions and information for the Berkeley community:


  • 1610 AM (emergency information only)
  • KPFB - 89.3 FM
  • KCBS - 740 AM
  • KQED - 88.5 FM
  • KSOL - 98.9 FM (Spanish)

Television: All television channels will broadcast messages sent by Alameda County through the Emergency Alert System. Local news networks may also carry specific information and instructions from authorities.

Web: Information on the City of Berkeley website will be available in accessible formats.

Talk to your neighbors:  Share emergency information and instructions with the people around you. Verify information from a credible source.

These systems are not guaranteed to work in an emergency. Make sure you know how to find emergency information from many different sources.


 Prepare to Receive Emergency Information

In an emergency, officials may use many different tools to communicate information and instructions to the community. Sign up and prepare to use these systems now, before an emergency occurs. These systems are not guaranteed to work in an emergency. To ensure that you have access to information from multiple sources in an emergency, review the available systems below. Please note that some systems require you to sign up, or to purchase special equipment to receive alerts.


Berkeley Emergency Notification System (City of Berkeley)

The Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS) is one of the tools the City of Berkeley uses to communicate emergency information and instructions to the community. BENS can send:

  •  Voice alerts to phones
  •  SMS text messages
  •  Email
  •  TTY/TDD messages

Listed AT&T “land lines” are automatically included in BENS. Community members must sign up to receive voice or text alerts on cell phones, VoIP phones, unlisted phones, TTY/TDDs or through email. To sign up a phone number, TTY/TDD, text number or email address, visit the BENS website


1610 AM (City of Berkeley)

1610 AM is an FCC-licensed radio station run by the City of Berkeley. The station plays recorded messages. In a disaster, the City may use 1610 AM to disseminate emergency information and instructions to the Berkeley community.

The 1610 AM broadcast is audible in most, but not all, areas of Berkeley. The City has authorized KPFA radio to rebroadcast or simulcast the 1610 AM signal on KPFB - 89.3 FM. In an emergency, KPFA staff will determine whether or not to rebroadcast or simulcast the 1610 AM signal.


Emergency Alert System (Alameda County)

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is the national public warning system. It requires television and radio broadcasters to enable the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system may also be used by State and County authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

In Berkeley, your EAS radio stations are KCBS - 740 AM, KQED - 88.5 FM, and KSOL - 98.9 FM (Spanish)


NOAA Weather Radio (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) broadcasts emergency weather alerts and other non-weather-related hazard information. During an emergency, National Weather Service forecasters send a special tone to activate local weather radios. NWR cannot be heard on a simple AM/FM radio receiver; it requires a special radio receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal. To receive Alameda County specific alerts, tune your weather radio to the following SAME code: 006001.  For more information on programming your weather radio, check this link:


WarnME (UC Berkeley)

WarnMe is UC Berkeley’s alert and warning service for UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty. WarnME is not the same as the City of Berkeley’s BENS system. You must have an email address to be eligible to receive these alerts.


Earthquake Notification Service (US Geological Survey)
The Earthquake Notification Service sends email notifications to subscribers when an earthquake happens in their area.

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Fire Department, 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-3473
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903