What You Should Know About Citizens Alert

What is Citizens Alert and why is it important to me?
Citizens Alert is a community-wide, comprehensive emergency notification service that authorized Town officials can use to notify residents and businesses about emergency situations or critical community news. The system may send messages only to people affected by a particular situation, or, in the case of a widespread emergency, to the town’s entire population.

Didn't the Town already have an Emergency Notification System?
Yes. The Town previously contracted with the CodeRED® system to provide emergency alerts to residents. However, with the advent of the regional 911 center, it made sense for the Town to transition to the county-wide Citizens Alert system.

This way, both the Town and County can better communicate with its residents in the event of an emergency.

Does this mean the Town will be calling me constantly? When will Citizens Alert be used?
The system will be used only to contact those directly affected by a particular event.

During signup, residents can specify which types of alerts they would like to receive. These options include- but are not limited to- health alerts, water main breaks, missing child or adult alerts, law enforcement emergencies and hazardous material spills. In short, alerts are sent during emergencies when the public will benefit from such a call.

By opting-in for weather alert calls, you’ll also receive severe weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service that are projected to impact your specific address.

Why do I need Citizens Alert when I have radio and TV to keep me informed?
Citizens Alert is an additional measure of safety. If power goes out, you may not be able to depend upon radio and TV. Because telephone lines are self-powered, the Town may be able to get through with an emergency message when you may not have been able to receive it otherwise.

Many emergencies occur without advance warning. In such cases, you may have no reason to turn on a TV or radio. Citizens Alert can help notify you immediately and advise you to take appropriate action.

I have a cordless phone, & it does not work when the power goes out. How is the Town going to be able to contact me?

There are two ways you can continue to receive telephone messages:

  • Make sure you have at least one working corded telephone that does not require power - and be sure to turn the ringer on.
  • Citizens Alert allows users to register multiple phone numbers and locations. Users may choose to register a cell phone number or other alternate phone that is less likely to be affected by a power outage. With Citizens Alert, if the first method of communication does not reach its user, the system will contact the second method of communication, and so on, until the user receives the alert message.

Do I have to pay extra for Citizens Alert service?

No. Citizens Alert is being provided through a partnership with Montgomery County for the first year of operation and will ultimately become part of the Town's operating expenses in the future.

Does the Town have my telephone number, or do I have to sign up to receive Citizens Alert emergency calls?
You will need to sign up for Citizens Alert to receive calls on anything other than your landline.

You are the most reliable source of information about how to reach your household, and there are also specific features, such as weather and community alerts, that you must opt-in to receive.

*It’s also a good idea to list any cell phones you might have, so that you can receive emergency notification wherever you are.* And, as mentioned above, signing up lets you decide what notifications you would like to receive.

If you move or change your phone number, be sure to edit your information to receive the most relevant notifications for you.

How do I sign up for Citizens Alert?

Sign up for Citizens Alert online. This is the quickest, easiest way to sign up because the information you supply will immediately update the Citizens Alert database. You can also update your information at any time.

If you do not have internet access, please call 540-382-6128, ext. 1150 or ext. 1151 to sign up.

Can I arrange to have Citizens Alert call my place of business?

Yes. Simply add this phone number to your profile. You may also add the address of your place of business to receive emergency alerts for that location, even if you are elsewhere.

Can I choose NOT to receive Citizens Alert messages?

Yes. The Town of Christiansburg respects your privacy.

If you do not want to receive calls, you may update your information online. If you do not have internet access, you may request assistance by emailing the Public Relations Office or by calling 540-382-6128, ext. 1150 or ext. 1151.

Please keep in mind that by unsubscribing, you will no longer receive emergency notifications from Citizens Alert and the Town of Christiansburg.

I live near Christiansburg, but I am not a resident. Can I sign up for Citizens Alert?
Yes! Citizens Alert is available to all residents of Montgomery County.

What if I still have questions?
If you have any further questions about Citizens Alert, please email the Public Relations Office, or call 540-382-6128, ext. 1150 or ext. 1151.