Emergency Notification System

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the emergency notification system important?
In the event of an emergency, it allows us to make rapid telephone notifications to residents and businesses in the affected area.

What is the difference between the emergency notification system (commonly referred to as Reverse 911) and the emergency alert system?
The emergency notification system is a web-based application that integrates mapping technology with telephone databases in order to provide recorded or written notifications to people in precisely targeted geographic areas. The emergency alert system utilizes the television and radio in order to communicate an urgent message on a mass scale.

How does it work?
Emergency notifications (i.e. calling for an evacuation) will still be in voice message form sent to either a landline or a cell phone to those residing in the affected geographic area as determined by the incident commander (i.e. fire or law enforcement). However, the affected citizens can elect to receive emergency notifications in text or e-mail form as well. In addition, citizens can receive non-emergency notifications (i.e. road closing) in e-mail or text message form.

Does the system have my phone number already?
All landline phones (listed and unlisted) residing in our County are included in the system. However, all cell phones or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones are not automatically included. You must self register using the Self-Registration Portal.

I don’t have a landline telephone. Can I still receive emergency notifications?
Yes, but you must self register using an online Self-Registration Portal. Remember, if your cell phone number changes, you will need to update your information on the online Self-Registration Portal.

How do I register in order to receive emergency notifications?
Citizens interested in receiving emergency notifications in various forms can sign up through the Self-Registration Portal, through Smart911.  Citizens can provide their cell, VoIP and/or phone numbers (published or unpublished) and email addresses, along with their personal preferences indicating the types of notification (emergency and non-emergency) they want to receive.

Why did my neighbor two blocks down the street from me receive an emergency notification but my household was not called?
The targeted geographic area is determined by the incident commander in charge of the emergency scene. Based on information gathered at the scene, the affected area is determined (i.e. ½ mile radius) and notifications are sent to that specified area within the determined radius.

Do I have to pay for this service?
No additional fees are charged to your landline account for calls received. However, calls to your cell phone may deduct minutes from your cell phone plan. Calls will typically be less than two minutes.

Will I receive nuisance calls?
The system will only be used for official government notifications and will be issued to specific geographic areas depending on the situation.

I have an answering machine. If I’m not home, will it leave a message?
If an answering machine picks up the call, the emergency message will be left on the machine. If your phone line is “busy”, the system will attempt a redial.

I am hearing impaired and I have a TTY/TDD device. Will I still be able to receive emergency notifications?
Yes. TTY/TDD devices are automatically detected by the system.

Who do I contact if I have other questions?
For any other questions, please feel free to contact the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office at 330-339-2000.