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Why should I sign up for alert notifications?

The alerts will tell you where to go, what to do and how to stay informed in an emergency situation. The alerts are available by text, email, cell phone, home land line, work phone, instant messaging or fax. So you’ll get instant access to information no matter where you are.

How is the new Everbridge alert system different than what I already signed up for?

Being forewarned about dangerous weather, a neighborhood evacuation or an emergency road closure has never been easier. This new Everbridge system replaces the old Roam Secure Alert Network alert system that had been in place since 2004. The enhanced system is customizable and allows residents to pick and choose what kind of notifications they want to receive, how they would like to receive them, as well as specify particular times during the day when they would prefer to block any incoming notifications. Residents can even sign up for alerts based on zip code, street address or radius from a specific point. So if you live in one city and work in another, you can sign up for alerts in both locations and everything in between. There are also a number of new notification topics now available through the state-of-the-art alerting system. For a complete list of available alerts in your area, please visit the Locations page on the website and click on your jurisdiction.

How often will I get alert notifications?

To a large extent, it’s up to you. The number of alerts you receive depends on the types of alerts you sign up for, and how often emergencies happen. For example, you may get many messages each week if you sign up for DC area traffic condition alerts. But you may get severe weather alerts far less often. If you feel you are getting too few or too many alerts, you can adjust your alert settings. You can even customize your alert settings at any time to help adjust the number of alerts you receive; including “quiet times” when you won’t receive messages.

Is it free to sign-up?

Yes, it is a free service offered by local governments; however standard messaging and data rates may apply. Check your wireless plan for details.

Will my personal information be kept private?

Yes, local governments do not sell your email address or phone number, and they only use this information to send you alert notifications.

What types of emergency alerts will I get?

You can control what alerts you get. When you sign up, you will be asked to choose what kind of alerts you want, including:

  • Major emergency alerts, like terrorism or natural disasters

  • National Capital Region weather alerts and warnings

  • National Capital Region traffic alerts and traffic conditions

  • AMBER alerts

  • For a complete list of available alerts in your area, please visit the locations page on the website and click on your jurisdiction.

How will I get the alerts?

In an emergency situation, an alert will be sent by the jurisdiction to inform residents of the situation and may give instructions on how to react. Residents should then promptly follow instructions and continue to keep devices near them if subsequent information follows. Even if a resident is using their electronic device when the alert is issued, the alert should still come through.

What is the sign-up process like?

Individuals may sign-up for a jurisdiction’s alert account in order to receive emergency alerts and notifications from that respective area. Multiple devices can be added to each individual account and alerts can be sent to all devices listed. In order to sign up for an account, follow the instructions on the Sign Up page on the website. Please note you will have to create a separate account for each jurisdiction’s alert system you would like to receive notifications from.

If I sign up for alerts from two jurisdictions (like the city and the county) will I get two messages?

Yes, each alert network sends messages to the registered users and does not distinguish between individuals registered on multiple systems.

Who sends out alerts?

Each jurisdiction has designated various local public safety and emergency managers to send out alerts. Alerts may go out to everyone in the jurisdiction or selected groups of individuals depending on the type of emergency.

In less than five minutes, customize free emergency alerts to your smartphone, computer, or tablet. Get instant access to information to protect yourself and your loved ones.