WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published September 23, 2011, 06:17 PM

Switch From Landlines to Cell Phones Affecting Reverse 911(R) Emergency Messages

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Fewer people in the Lake Region will get emergency notices in the case of an emergency.

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Fewer people in the Lake Region will get emergency notices in the case of an emergency.

The emergency alert system continues to lose contacts as more residents disconnect landlines and switch to cell phones.

Now, the Reverse 911(R) system is losing ways to get ahold of people.

The system is a registered trademark of Cassidian Communications.

"Our database is based strictly on landlines and that is where we are finding that landlines are slowly becoming obsolete," 911 coordinator Elvera Snyder said. "We do not keep a database on cell phones."

And few people have registered their cell phone numbers with the department.

"Approximately 168 people," 911 coordinator Starr Klemetsrud said.

That means many people would miss out on emergency messages they need.

"I would say a good hundreds of people, yes we would be missing them," Snyder said.

"For example, in the Lake Region, if the dike broke, in other areas we have used it for emergency shutoff," Klemetsrud said.

Even if you still have a landline, you can register cell phone numbers for multiple people so everyone gets the emergency message.

"It might be a good idea for parents to register their older children on this, their cell phones. If they are at school and something should happen and they are capable of driving they could pick up younger siblings, they could meet parents have a certain place in case of emergency and that would save the parents a lot of time and effort trying to text and call and see what they are up to," Snyder said.

Tags: