Malibu tests new disaster notification system

The city of Malibu will conduct a full-scale test of its "Everbridge'' disaster notification system Wednesday, authorities said.

The test will take place at 7 p.m., Malibu Mayor Skylar Peak said.

The recent massive wildfires and ensuing mudslides that devastated communities statewide "highlighted weaknesses in the phone-based emergency alert systems that most government agencies rely on,'' Peak said.

"We should learn from the experiences of the tragic California wildfires and mudslides to improve our own emergency systems,'' Peak said. "My goal is for every family in Malibu to be signed up for Everbridge. I hope that this test will encourage people to sign up and get familiar with the system so we are all safer and better prepared if a disaster strikes.''

According to some estimates, fewer than half of all homes currently have a landline, Peak said.

"People are increasingly `cutting the cord' and using only cell phones. During the deadly and destructive Santa Rosa and Thomas Fires, many people never received an evacuation notification. In some cases, telephone lines and poles were physically destroyed,'' Peak said.

Malibu's Everbridge system sends "urgent, critical information'' by landline phone calls, cell phone calls, text messages and email.

It is a separate system from the city's online Alert Center, which is regularly used to send out traffic, weather, utility and "minor'' emergency alerts by text message and email to subscribers.

The system enables the city to immediately send an alert by voice message, text and email to all registered landlines, cell phones and email addresses.

The 26,150 Verizon landlines in Malibu are automatically registered. Users can go to the city's Everbridge website, create a profile, and enter multiple cell phone numbers, landlines and email addresses so that every family member, or staff member of a business, will receive an alert wherever they are,
Peak said.

When activated, the Everbridge system will send a recorded voice and/or text message, and cycle through every device that is registered, until a person clicks a "message received'' confirmation.

If no confirmation is received, the system will start over and cycle back through all the devices/contacts until a confirmation is given.

The system also allows users to register disabilities, special medications, or specialized medical equipment that emergency responders need to know about during an evacuation.

Users can download a free, optional Everbridge mobile app for use on Android or Apple devices (the system will work without the app). To find the app, search for "ContactBridge'' in the app store or iTunes.

To sign up for the city's disaster and evacuation alerts through Everbridge, visit For more information, call Public Safety Manager Susan Duenas at (310) 456-2489, ext. 313, or email

Following tonight's test, the city will analyze the effectiveness and reach of the system and will conduct additional outreach to register more residents.

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