Monday, May 17, 2010

Clarifying Cell Phone Alerts

Recently, we have had a couple of inquiries about why folks are not receiving the blog entries to their cell phones when they sign up for the phone-based alerts. 

As a pre-disaster preparedness tip, you will often hear Emergency Management staff encourage you to sign up your mobile phone to receive emergency messages. 

The CRESA Emergency Community Notification System will ONLY send out alerts to a geographically-targeted audience when we CANNOT send out the emergency information over the Emergency Alert System or via other media means.  This is because the Emergency Community Notification System is pre-populated with all local landline phone numbers from the enhanced 9-1-1 database provided by our telephone company. 

One of the key restrictions on the use of those phone numbers is that they can ONLY be used for emergency alerts.  This means that we cannot, by law, send out preparedness information or other non-emergency forms of information. 

Basically, if you receive a telephone alert, it is because we want you to take some IMMEDIATE action like "stay inside your home" or "evacuate now."  In the past 5 years that we have had this system, it has been used for:
  • Police actively engaged in standoff situations resulting in a request for folks to stay inside their homes 
  • Requests to assist in looking for people who have a recent and specific last-known location
  • Hazardous materials spill prompting a request for evacuation
As this system is used, we also anticipate posting information on the blog, Facebook, Twitter and issuing a media release through Flash Alert News; however, we encourage everyone in Clark County to sign up to have their cell phone numbers and Voice-Over-Internet Protocol phone numbers added to this database (because they are not automatically added by your phone companies). 

If you are also wanting to sign up to receive the CRESA Blog entries to your email address, go to and enter your email address there.  


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