California Health Alert Network
San Joaquin County member of California Emergency Volunteers and some members of its CERT partners, are given accounts on the California Health Alert Network, a system operated by the state’s department of public health. CAHAN is our official activation and alerting mechanism and also maintains our member database.
CAHAN can be used to notify you of emergencies via e-mail or telephone. It is important that your account be setup properly. For technical support, do not call the CAHAN hotline. Send support requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me and I will handle your issues.
If your account has just been added
You may have received an (un)expected e-mail telling you that a CAHAN account has been created for you. This means I have taken the information you provided on an application form and setup the account for you.
Your new account is set so that in an emergency CAHAN will attempt to call you on your cellular and home telephone numbers. To receive the message, you must enter your security code. The default code for all new accounts is 1111. You must enter this code to hear the message.If you do not, CAHAN will call each number three times before giving up.
To access your CAHAN account online you must use Internet Explorer, nothing else works.
Default user name is firstinitiallastname as in dcoursey or occasionally the first two letters in your first name followed by your last name, as in dacoursey. This happens when one of the 31,000 other users already has your user name.
Your default password is Password1(capitalization as shown). A CAHAN password must have at least five characters, a capital, and a number or special character. CAHAN requires a password change every six months, so please change your password to one of two that you will remember. Alternately, leave the default and use Password2 when you are asked to change it, then back to Password1 at the next change.
Your default security code is 1111. You might want to keep this number handy and share it with others who might answer a CAHAN call at your home or office (so they can stop the calls).
Please download the CAHAN First Time User Guide and follow its instructions to setting up your account. With these notes:
- In the Work Contact category, your work e-mail should be the primary e-mail we use to contact you. You will probably notice that there are phone numbers for work phone and work cell. This is where I entered the numbers I have for you. Please change them as needed. BUT, if you remove them you must change your Alerting Profile or you will no longer receive alerts via telephone.
- In the Home Contact category, please enter your home address. This is for our database.
- In the Misc category, please select COMMUNICATIONS as your Business Category, CEV or your CERT group as your Organization, and enter your Amateur call sign as your Title.
- Please verify that your Alerting Profile is correct, setting the ways you wish to be contacted for each AleCArt Priority—High, Medium, or Low. See below for an explanation of the Alert Priorities. The Alerting Profile allows you great flexibility in “designing” your alerts.
- Please do not use the Scheduler function on the Alert Profile page to set times when you will be alerted. This function does not work properly and will only cause problems with your alerts.
Customizing your CAHAN profiles is important, but does not need to be done again until the information needs to be changed (new phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.)
CAHAN Alert Priorities
Every CAHAN Alert is assigned a priority. You can tell the system how to attempt to contact you for each level of alert. These are:
- High — This priority will be used ONLY for actual alerts requiring an immediate response. For that reason, please set your Alerting Profile so that a High Priority alert will find you 24x7.
- Medium — This priority is used for less urgent alerts, delayed responses, updates to existing alerts, etc. If will also be used for occasionally drills and exercises between the hours of 9am and 6pm only. This Alerting Priority needs to be able to find you 24x7 but perhaps shouldn’t call your office or home, just your cell phone.
- Low — Used for non-essential information and announcements.
Please include your e-mail address(es) in all Alert Profiles priorities.
CAHAN training is available both online and in document form. There are also several helpful guides, including a pocket guide that you can print, cut, fold, and carry with you.
Online Training — 60-minute online training (requires Adobe Flash player) — Click here
Documents — The CAHAN 4.7 First Time User Guide (PDF) is the starting point for all new user.
The CAHAN Brochure (PDF) provides general information about the system.
The CAHAN Business Card (PDF) is worth printing and carrying with you and provides a place to record your user name, password, and security code.
A CAHAN Pocket Guide (PDF) is also available.
Please contact me if you need assistance with your CAHAN account.
What happens during a CAHAN Alert?
CAHAN Alerts are created by authorized senders using Internet Explorer. The first thing the sender must do is select a Priority for the message, as described above. The Priority that is assigned to the message interacts with your personal Alerting Profile to determine how the message will be delivered to you.
A typical message will be short, explaining why the message is being sent, and telling recipients what action to take. Most of the time, this will be to check into a net on a specific Amateur repeater or a phone number to call.
The sender then selects groups of recipients (based on location and organization) and sends the alert.
E-mail messages are sent first. If you acknowledge the e-mail message (as described in the e-mail) no telephone calls will be placed.
If the alert is being delivered by telephone, you will receive a call and an electronic voice will identify the CAHAN system and ask for your security code (1111) and, once that is entered, deliver the message to you.
The system will call each number you provide in your Alerting Profile that matches the priority of the message up to three times before giving up. Entering the security code acknowledges the message and stops additional calls from being made.
The sender can view a list of message recipients and whether they have acknowledged the message, but you must check-in or call-in to tell us what action you are taking (responding/not responding) as a result of the message you received.