Robo No More

Don’t hang up

The elections are over, and all of those annoying robocallers are on break until 2016. However, there is one kind of robocall that cell phone users may want to get—the reverse 911 call that alerts you to dangers in your specific neighborhood. For example, during the Caughlin Ranch fire in the fall of 2011, people who lived in that part of town wanted to know if they had to evacuate.

According to Aaron Kenniston, emergency manager for Washoe County, a recent test of the new Code Red System showed that many homes no longer have a landline. Instead, people are opting to use a cell phone for their everyday phone service.

“In the next two to three years, cell phone companies will be making cell phone technology compatible with our existing 911 system,” says Kenniston. “That way, it won’t matter if you have a landline or just use a cell phone, we will be able to reach you in times of an emergency.

In the meantime, Kenniston asks that cell phone users simply register their phones by going to and click on the Get the Message icon. He says users will not be contacted unless there is a danger in their neighborhood.

“Some people are hesitant to register with us, or they get upset because they have an unlisted phone number,” Kenniston said. “There are no unlisted phone numbers when it comes to our 911 system.” Police and fire are going to roll to a home even if someone dials 911 and hangs up. So register today, or wait until technology catches up. Either way, the information could save lives.