City Of Burien Announces New “Burien Alert'” Emergency Call System

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The City of Burien announced in its latest quarterly newsletter (link to PDF file here) that it has created a “new way to receive alerts about natural disasters and other emergencies” it’s calling “Burien Alert.”

The program is scheduled to begin Sept. 15, and according to the city, it will serve as a mass notification system that enables emergency officials and other first responders to notify residents via a “reverse 911” type of message.

Residents will be allowed to “opt-in” to the service by clicking on a Burien ALERT button that will be at the bottom of the city’s website beginning Sept. 15th (it’s not up there yet).

Also, on Wednesday, Oct. 6th, the city is planning on participating in a countywide earthquake drill, where it will open its emergency operations center and perform functions as if the incident were real, including communicating with residents and businesses.

Here’s more from the city’s announcement:

The system will notify residents and businesses about significant risks to health and safety. Public safety officials can send alerts about emergencies such as severe weather, floods, utility disruptions or critical police activity. Emergency alerts may be sent 24 hours a day, based on severity. When a number is called, the person receiving the call will be instructed to press 1 to hear the message. The emergency or community alert will follow.

Households and businesses with a land line will automatically receive the emergency alert. The system allows individuals the opportunity to ‘opt-in’ their alternative electronic devices, including cell phones, work phones, text messages, e-mails, and more.

Residents and businesses can opt in on the Internet by accessing the Burien ALERT button at the bottom of the City Web page at and following the opt-in instructions. People without access to the Internet can come to City Hall for assistance opting in. General information and frequently asked questions about Burien Alert can be found at (EDITOR’S NOTE: this page will apparently be activated Sept. 15th). Besides choosing how to receive emergency notifications, users also can choose to receive alerts regarding locations of interest – emergencies that may affect a residence, workplace, child’s school or other areas that are within the Burien city limits. Businesses benefit when their employees opt in because wherever they are, information can be relayed to their employees about local emergencies.

Everyone with land lines will continue to receive emergency notifications, regardless of whether they opt in with other devices. Those who opt in will receive an emergency notification on their land line or on devices they chose when they opted in.

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the City of Burien will participate in a county-wide earthquake drill. The City will open its emergency operations center and perform functions as if the incident were real, including commu- nicating with residents and businesses.

You may see an alert on the City Website, or hear an emergency radio broadcast on Radio Free Burien 540 AM or view one on Burien Channel 21. People with telephone land lines or who have signed up to receive alerts over their cell phones and other devices will receive a call from Burien Alert.

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4 Responses to “City Of Burien Announces New “Burien Alert'” Emergency Call System”
  1. John says:

    Good deal. When a large disaster hits and disrupts the phone service, and it most likely will, be prepared in other ways too. Have battery powered radios AM/FM type, a scanner, or get into Ham Radio and be able to keep in touch yourself. Having multiple ways to be in the know is always smart.

    • Coverofnight says:

      I agree John; great advice – especially about Ham Radio. I know from experience how Hams will be able to communicate and offer assistance when all hell breaks loose and phone service is disrupted.

  2. alyce says:

    When I signed up for the system, I certainly didn’t expect it to be for anything other than emergency alters and maybe alerts to do with the road paving.
    Imagine my reaction when today, I received three, count ’em three calls on my land line, two to my cell phone, and three e-mails to advertise the Wild Strawberry Festival. It was especially irritating for the cell phone, as the message was ridiculously long and cost me money. I learned from prior experience that if you don’t listen to the entire message, it will continue to re-send until you do.
    So, citizens seem to have two choices, put up with the equivalent of junk calls and e-mails, or withdraw from the system and then miss something truly important or a real emergency alert.
    Just another in a long line of insults from the City.

  3. Thank you for the comment regarding the recent messages you received. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

    The alert was only sent to those who have signed up to receive information regarding “Special Events”.

    In your alert subscription profile, you may have the Special Event Information list checked. Feel free to uncheck this so that future messages will not be sent to you. If it was not checked, please let us know and we will escalate this issue further.

    To log into your account, please go to and Log In. If you are having issues logging into your profile, please click the associated links to retrieve your username and password. To the right of My Subscriptions, click the “edit” link to access the subscriptions page and update it to your needs.

    Again, we apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

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