Most people understand that when they have an emergency and they need assistance, they pick up their phone and dial 911. But what if there is a situation that affects your neighborhood, and the Fire Department, or Law Enforcement needs to contact you?
There is a system in place to do just that. It is called the Community Emergency Notification System (CENS). It is also known as “Reverse 911”. The system is designed for Fire Departments and Law Enforcement to rapidly notify an affected area of an emergency by sending a recorded message through the telephone system. The system uses the 911 database to extract phone numbers determined by the circle or area drawn on the CENS map by 911 operators.
Your caller phone will show "REVERSE911CALL" as the caller. CENS launches a prerecorded message to the telephone numbers in the area defined. Each notification call will be different. The primary agency handling the emergency will make the recording you will hear. It is important to follow the instructions on the recording. This can be used to alert you to situations that you should be aware of to protect yourself and your family, such a natural or man caused disaster. You may be directed to remain in your home, or given an evacuation route.
Register Your Phone
As technology changes, many people are choosing to do away with their “land line” home telephone, and exclusively use cell phones or internet based phones (VoIP). Unfortunately CENS will not automatically work with these types of phones without input from you. If you are in this category, you should take a few minutes to register your phones. It is very easy to do. It takes just a few minutes, and your privacy is protected.
Please visit the Maricopa Region 911 website and follow the instructions. That will link your mobile phones or your VoIP phone to your home address. You will then receive the same information as a “land line” phone would. Having this system in place greatly enhances our ability to communicate important information and instructions that can protect you and your family.