Alerts and warnings – what you need to know

Alerts and warnings – what you need to know.


Alerts and warnings video click here.


Notifications during an emergency are essential to a successful evacuation.  We use a number of tools to communicate with residents during an emergency.  In this article we are discussing  Alert Marin and Nixle.  


Alert Marin notifications are sent to your phone(s) or email only when action needs to be taken at a specific address (unlike Nixle safety alerts). Keep reading to learn about the differences between Alert Marin & Nixle.

As an example, if you are living in Mill Valley and not under the evacuation warning currently affecting parts of West Marin, you would not receive an Alert Marin notification because you currently do not need to take any action at your specific address. You might receive safety and informational notifications from Nixle, if you are signed up for Nixle.

Alert Marin action notices are (thankfully) rare while safety alerts from Nixle are sent out often because that is how the systems are set up.

Please do not make the mistake of assuming you are registered for Alert Marin if you receive Nixle texts.

You must register to receive evacuation and emergency alerts on your cell and voip phones.  Even if you already have registered to receive Nixle texts, you still must register to receive Alert Marin evacuation and emergency alerts.

Alert Marin is operated by the Marin County Sheriff's Office.  Alert Marin will alert you only when action is needed at a specific address (emergency evacuation, approaching wildfire, imminent flooding, & other public safety incidents where lives may be at risk).

Landline numbers that are not voip (voice over internet protocol) phones automatically will receive phone alerts from Alert Marin.

During an approaching wildfire, Alert Marin would be used to provide notice by voice phone calls, text, email, or app when an evacuation order is issued and an action (immediate evacuation) must be taken at a specific address.

It is vital everyone who lives, works or goes to school in Marin County registers for Alert Marin.  Signing up could save your life!

Please consider registering for all notification methods (voice calls, texts, & email) from Alert Marin, as you might be sleepy if and when you get an emergency alert call, & having an additional written alert with instructions on where to go could be helpful.

To register for Alert Marin, click here: Alert Marin Registration

Nixle (a private company contracted by government & other agencies that serve the public) is used when information is needed in a zip code (road closures, post-disaster info about shelters & services, police activity, & other public safety info).  To sign up for Nixle messages, you may text your zip code to 888777.  Nixle provides info only via text.  Click here for more info on Nixle: Nixle - Additional Information.

It is wise to register for both Alert Marin and Nixle because during an emergency if one system were to fail the other system hopefully would work.

Here is more info on Alert Marin: Alert Marin-Additional Information..

Please share this important info with your friends and neighbors.  It can be confusing, and many folks will need help to understand the differences.  To make it easier, just tell people it is important to sign up for both Alert Marin & Nixle.