Don’t hang up: Reverse 911 may be warning you of severe weather or other emergency


As much as we love springtime, we don’t love the severe storms that come with it, and Clay County E911 has alerted many residents about severe weather situations this spring using the Reverse 911 notification system, program director Beth Moulton said last week. 

“For those residents who are unfamiliar with Reverse 911, it is a notification system allowing us to alert residents by telephone of emergency situations throughout our county involving severe weather alerts, missing children or elderly adults, extended utility outages and escapees or felons that pose an immediate threat to the life of citizens that may encounter the suspect,” Moulton said.  “This system was also used during the recent robbery involving the Hermitage Springs Bank.”   

During the past week, changes have been made to the recorded introduction message residents receive upon answering their phone, Moultan said.  In the past, the recording would state “this is a message from the communicator.”

You will now receive a recording that says, “this is Clay County 911 with an important message,” Moulton said.  

“Many residents have not answered or hung up their phone thinking the message is a telemarketer,” she said.  “For those residents who have caller ID, the incoming call will only display something like ‘out of area, unavailable, unknown caller,’ or something similar.  

“Unfortunately the caller ID display cannot be changed at this point,” Moulton said. “As technology moves forward daily, we hope your caller ID display may be changed in the near future.”  

Moulton also reminded county residents landline phones, not cell phones, are the only numbers programmed into the emergency system.