Reverse 911 available on cell phones, VoIP in Park City
November 5, 2010
City Hall wants people using cell phones and people who use phone services over the Internet, known as voice over Internet protocol, to register for the Reverse 911 system, which allows officials to quickly disseminate information during an emergency.
Officials recently sent a flier to postal addresses inside Park City encouraging people to register their numbers.
People with home telephones using Qwest as a provider have already been registered in the Reverse 911 system, City Hall said, and that database includes upward of 20,000 phone numbers in the Park City area. But the database does not include cell numbers or ways to reach people who use the voice over Internet protocol, popularly known as VoIP.
Hugh Daniels, who manages City Hall’s emergency programs, said 347 additional people signed up soon after the fliers were sent.
The system "enables Park City government to quickly contact residents on their home, business, or mobile phone about urgent matters related to public safety, health and special events," the flier says.
"The only numbers we have in the database are the numbers we have from Qwest," Daniels said.
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Daniels said the Reverse 911 system was recently employed to provide information about street closures related to the Tour of Utah bicycle races, the first time it has been put into operation. There have been a series of tests involving City Hall staffers as well, Daniels said, with each of the tests being successful. City Hall has operated a Reverse 911 system for approximately 18 months.
He said the system could also be used to notify people of snowplowing timelines and outages in the water system. He said the system is "unbelievably handy" that can be programmed to call people on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis or a street-by-street basis.
"What it allows us to do is get a message out," Daniels said.
People using cell phones or the voice over Internet protocol may register for the Reverse 911 system on City Hall’s website, http://www.parkcity.org. Select the ‘Register Here for Reverse 911’ link on the front page of the website. People may also register by calling Daniels at 615-5185.