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Not everyone receives Reverse 911 calls during emergency

By Laura Halm
Published On: Apr 21 2013 04:15:31 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 22 2013 01:28:23 PM CDT
REVERSE 911
BRISTOL, Tenn. -

We told you Friday how police and Emergency Management Agencies warn those here in the Tri-Cities of a large scale crisis using social media, local news, and the telephone.

In fact we saw how police in Boston used Reverse 911 to warn residents to stay inside, but sometimes not everyone gets that call.

News 5 checked here locally to find out if there's a way to make sure you get the warning in an emergency.

Bristol, Tennessee Police say in most cases robo-calls or Reverse 911 calls go out to warn people about severe weather or a missing person.

You call 911 when there's an emergency, but in some cases the roles are reversed and 911 calls you with emergency alerts. "If you had a dangerous person that was a threat to the public and remained at large. Also severe weather, any type of emergency," said Lieutenant Greg Leake with the Bristol, Tennessee Police Department.

This kind of notification system is a vital tool for police. In a matter of minutes, hundreds of calls can be made across the city sending residents a warning. "It can involve the entire city or a smaller radius area closer to the incident location," added Lieutenant Leake.

But what you might not know is that not everyone is on the call list. "Well the landlines or your home phone numbers are already in the system automatically," said Lieutenant Leake.

We learned the solution is an easy one: your cell phone can be added to the list simply by going online and filling out a form. At that point, if there is an emergency, police will be able to call, even send a text message or email. "There's probably no more efficient and effective time management tool to be utilized in order to reach a mass number of people," added Lieutenant Leake.

We did some digging and found police and sheriff's departments throughout the Tri-Cities have Reverse 911 systems. If you have questions, you can always contact them about signing up for notifications.

Click here for Washington County, Tenn. notifications.

Click here for Bristol, Tenn. notifications.

Click here for Bristol, Va. notifications.

Click here for Sullivan County/Kingsport notifications.

Click here for Washington County, Va. notifications.