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Register your cell phone for Reverse 911

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In the event of an emergency, is your cell phone registered to receive automated messages? When emergencies happen in your neighborhood, public safety agencies can use the 9-1-1 database to call your home or business land line to let you know the nature of the emergency and what action to take. 

…But what happens if you don’t have a land line?

The public can now register cell or VoIP (Voice over IP, i.e. Vonage) phones with the CENS system. CENS notifications are based on the address you provide for your cell or VoIP phone. To register these types of devices, visit http://www.maricopa.gov/emerg_mgt/. You can also register via telephone at 602-273-1411 | 602-244-1409 (TDD/TTY) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

CENS is the Community Emergency Notification System also referred to as “Reverse 911” for emergency notification. The system is designed to rapidly notify an affected area of an emergency by sending a recorded message through the telephone system. CENS uses the 911 database to extract phone numbers determined by a circle drawn on the CENS map. CENS then launches a prerecorded message to the telephone numbers within the defined area.

Caller ID devices will show a CENS message as a “REVERSE911CALL” with a 480 area code regardless of where the emergency is located. The system is designed to leave a message on voicemail or an answering machine. It is also designed to call back if the line is busy or if there is no answer.

Public safety officials determine when using the CENS system is appropriate. Potential uses can include local notifications about emergencies such as: major fires, public safety threats, flash floods, hazardous materials spills, police incidents, endangered children. Does this mean that you will learn about everything that may happen in your neighborhood? No, but it does mean you will be notified if officials determine that using the CENS system is appropriate given factors like time of day, type of incident, etc. 

An email is required to set up accounts online. You must respond to a verification email in order to activate the CENS registration.

Thank you to Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management (MCDEM) for this information.

  1. Emma Strano says:

    Sign me up

  2. Multimedia says:

    Hello Emma, you’ll need to sign yourself up, sorry. This is a courtesy post by the Rec Centers, but the system is run by the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management. You may either visit the web address in the story, or call the listed phone number.

  3. J R Fernstrum says:

    Sign me up for reverse 911

  4. Multimedia says:

    Hello JR, this is the Rec Centers site so we can’t sign you up for Reverse 911. You’ll need to follow the instructions in the linked article to sign yourself up.

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