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Get Deschutes Co. alerts by cell phone – if registered


A few years ago, when people mostly used land-line telephones, dispatchers would use the reverse 9-1-1 system to notify everyone in a specific area of an emergency such as a missing or wanted person. Now they have the capacity to notify cell phones, but people have to register them first.

Emergencies can happen without notice, at any time of the day or night. Until recently, the Citizen Emergency Notification system would only call land-line phones.

“Now you can opt in with your cell phone number,” said county Communication Specialist Anna Johnson. “We won’t sell it. We won’t use it for any other purpose, but to alert residents of Deschutes County.”

To register a cell phone, residents can visit the county’s website, click on the link to create a new user and fill out the information.

Whether it’s a fire, flood, or emergency evacuation, people will receive a message describing the situation and the action to take

“We’re all used to getting alerts that way these days, and so this is just an extension of public safety and here in Deschutes County,” Johnson said. “It’s our No. 1 priority.”

The system will automatically call out to all land-line phone numbers and registered cell phones within a large geographic area and deliver the recorded message once a voice is heard.

If a phone line is busy, the system will attempt to redial the number three times to make contact. And if an answering machine or voice mail system picks up the call, an emergency message will be recorded.

“We’re not all at home these days,” Johnson said. “We’re all active, with very busy lifestyles, and we want to make sure we can reach people where they’re at. And cell phones are the best way to do that.”

To register your cell phone, visit

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