Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) is a high speed communications system that delivers emergency information or warnings to designated geographic areas.

TENS is a combination of telephone, computer, and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies.

TENS is a very important communications note to put out there and we need it to be presented in the most complete manner possible.

TENS is used to communicate such information as:

  • imminent flooding
  • sheltering instructions
  • evacuation routes
  • missing person alerts
  • and more

By simply selecting an area that needs to receive emergency information, the message is prerecorded and then automatically calls the homes in the selected area - up to 22,000 per hour. It's another great way to communicate important information during an event.

TENS is managed by the Marin County Office of Emergency Services and as long as you have a landline you are able to receive these important calls during the time of an emergency. If you have a cordless phone or your service provider is also your cable provider you should double check that they have registered you with the emergency notification database.

TENS Question & Answer

  1. QUESTION: What information do you have on the citizens who are being called and where does the information come from. How is this information accessed or collected?
    ANSWER: Â We collect all phone numbers from Verizon and AT&T and upload them to our servers quarterly. The only people that can access these numbers and activate our TENS system is our County OES staff. These numbers are not given out to anyone else for any reason.
  2. QUESTION: If I am called, what information appears on my caller ID?
    ANSWER: The numbers that will show up on your caller ID varies depending on the method we use. They could be any of the following numbers: 415-507-1513, 480-629-0003, or 615-514-0815. If you have a standard voicemail/answering machine, the system will leave a message. If you have a voicemail/answering machine that says press 1 for Joe, 2 for Mary, etc., the system will not leave a message.
  3. QUESTION: Does TENS work with the relatively new internet/broadband/VoIP phones, e.g. Vonage or Comcast digital or AT&T U-verse digital?
    ANSWER: AT&T and Verizon cover the VOIP numbers for AT&T U-verse and Comcast, so those numbers are uploaded into the TENS database. As for Vonage, they do not have this option. Vonage subscribers must call Vonage to ask them to provide their numbers to AT&T & Verizon so those numbers will be covered when a call out is made. It's up to the subscribers to get Vonage to do this.
  4. QUESTION: What is the Emergency Notification Database and can any number be listed?
    ANSWER: It is up to the subscriber to contact their phone carrier and make sure that their number is added to the list of phone numbers provided to Marin County OES for emergency call outs. AT&T & Verizon do this automatically.

911 / e911

There are some differences with the 911/e911 service for these online phones.

e911 service is the number that is provided to Communication Dispatch Center. If you call 911 from your home phone, your address shows up on the Dispatch screen for a faster way to get help dispatch first responders to your home.

See also FCC website

Marin Emergency Automated Notification System (MEANS)

A system called Marin Emergency Automated Notification System (MEANS) gives each city/town the ability to enter resident information (home phone, cell phone, work phone, pager, and email) and upon activation of the system, messages can be sent to these devices.

Some but not all cities and town in Marin are currently using the MEANS systems.

Further Information

San Rafael Disaster Communications & Warning Systems

Marin County Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS)



City of San Rafael Office of Emergency Services
1039 C Street
San Rafael CA 94901
Tel: 415-458-5002

Working collaboratively with partner agencies and organizations, OES coordinates the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery from the effects of emergencies and disasters that threaten the lives, property, and the environment of San Rafael. Organizes the Marin Get Ready program for San Rafael.

Marin County Office of Emergency Services
3501 Civic Center Drive #266
San Rafael, CA. 94903
Tel: 415-499-6584

Marin County OES provides emergency management services for the County/Operational Area including its eleven cities/towns and 300+ special districts.

We've all seen the food pyramid where the food at the bottom of the pyramid is supposed to be eaten regularly, and the food at the top sparingly.Now comes the Pyramid of Conservation.

This pyramid was created for Minnesota Power to help residential customers determine where to start with energy efficiency projects.

The Conservation Pyramid has 10 levels, from cheap at the bottom to expensive at the top.

Pyramid of Conservation

While some may argue with the details in this pyramid, the pyramid's basic hierarchy is sound.

Many people who want to green their home start at the top instead of the bottom. The whole point of this pyramid is that you should start with the easy and cheap stuff - the low hanging fruit - at the bottom of the pyramid.

Before you spend lots of money on new appliances and renewable technologies that take many years to amortize you should make all the inexpensive efficiency improvements and reduce your overall energy consumption that way.

The Pyramid of Conservation helps you prioritize energy efficiency steps. First you establish a foundation in energy efficiency and then you can work your way up the pyramid. Click any topic on the pyramid to learn more!

Jetson Green has more details

You probably know what Tai Chi is - it's that meditative form of martial art which looks like kung fu in slow motion. But have your heard about ChiRunning® and ChiWalking®?

ChiWalking blends the health benefits of walking with the core principles of Tai Chi. As we all know, the walking is low-impact, making it the healthiest form of daily exercise for all ages. As with Pilates, yoga and Tai Chi, ChiWalking emphasizes body alignment and mindfulness while strengthening the core muscles of the body.

Some of the advantages include:
1) Reduce pounding and pain
2) Reduce dependence on leg muscles
3) Run hills safely and effectively
4) Reduce the chance of injury
5) Increase your endurance

How do I know all this? I recently had a Chi Walking and Running class with Hazel Wood from Hazel is a Certified ChiRunning and ChiWalking Instructor who has learned from Danny Dreyer, the inventor of these techniques. Hazel now teaches these techniques to individuals and groups. They are great techniques for injury free walking and running based on Tai Chi principles.

Here are the five mindful steps of ChiWalking:
1) Get aligned
2) Engage your core
3) Create balance
4) Make a choice
5) Move forward 

Stride by Stride teaches ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® to runners and walkers of all abilities. If you think this kind of health coaching could help you out then get in touch with Hazel for a free consultation.

The Chi Walking and Chi Running books are also highly recommended... two thumbs waaaay up!