County Launches ALERT Spokane Campaign

County Launches ALERT Spokane Campaign

Sep 11, 2014

County Launches “ALERT Spokane” Self-Registration Campaign

News from our partners at Spokane County

October 06, 2014 Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter, MPA
Public Information and Communications Manager
(509) 477-7195

 
This afternoon, Spokane County launched a public safety campaign, urging the public to register their cell phones and VoIP phones in the ALERT Spokane system. (Note: The largest VoIP providers in Spokane County are Comcast, OOMA US Sprint Communications, Vonage and XO Communications.)
 
According to County Commissioner Todd Mielke, the system draws from a database of landline telephone numbers, but cell phones must be self-registered, “When ALERT Spokane is activated, the system sends a recorded message that explains the type of emergency and what actions to take. However, if you rely on a cell phone or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone (Comcast, Vonage, XO Communications, etc.), you would not have received the recorded message – unless you had already self-registered those phone numbers in the ALERT Spokane system.” He added, “The ALERT system has been activated three times in the past three months. It’s an important part of the county’s emergency communication services, but it’s only as effective as the contact information it contains.”
 
Mielke was joined by Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Spokane, who explained how ALERT Spokane was used to notify residents within a half-mile of the hazardous chemical spill on I-90 at Stateline on September 14th. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub also recounted how the system is an important tool for law enforcement and is used to keep the public safe.
 
Commissioner Mielke concluded by emphasizing the small number of cell phones that are in the system, “Spokane County’s current population is more than 480-thousand. Yet – as of October 1st – there were less than 37-hundred addresses that had self-registered cell phones in the ALERT system. We, as a community, need to do better.”
 
Spokane County, working in partnership with other jurisdictions, law enforcement, fire service, and emergency management, is leading the month-long public safety campaign and urging citizens to self-register their cell phones and VoIP phones with the ALERT Spokane system at www.alertspokane.org.  
 
Be informed – stay safe – register with ALERT Spokane today at www.alertspokane.org.  
 
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