Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Heather's Corner: Reverse 911: Are You In The Database, Oro Valley?

REVERSE 911 is a geographically based calling system developed in 1993 by Sigma Communications, Inc. to give public safety agencies the ability to quickly communicate with the public.

The REVERSE 911 system allows the operator to scroll over specific areas on a map, or to select names or locations from a list, or to activate pre-designed lists of persons or locations, record a message, and transmit the message by telephone to the selected recipients.

The Town of Oro Valley participates in this emergency warning system for residents and businesses about potential emergency situations occurring in Oro Valley to include:
  • Missing person alerts 
  • Emergency evacuations 
  • Crime alerts to specific areas 
  • Natural disaster alerts 
  • Weather related safety warnings 
  • Hazardous material leaks 
  • Neighborhood emergency situations 
  • Homeland Security alerts
An example of how the system has helped other communities was during a 2010 Boston water emergency. Government agencies used REVERSE 911 to notify a large number of Boston-area residents in particular neighborhoods to boil water before drinking.

REVERSE 911 was used to notify parents in the Sandy Hook community of Newtown, Connecticut of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting incident. These are wonderful examples of how what once would have been an impossible task of providing important emergency information to the masses, is now a viable and successful form of communication.

The Town of Oro Valley does need your help! They want to be sure that they have your preferred contact information for REVERSE 911. The telephone number you provide will be the number they call in an emergency situation. It can be a land line, a cell phone number or broadband/VOIP phone number.

To sign up for REVERSE 911, visit the Town's "Reverse 911" web page. Scroll to the bottom of the page. There, you will find a link where you can visit a page to register online or download a form to register. Either way, its another way for you to help Oro Valley keep us all safe!

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