This Halloween, Oct. 31 at 2:00 pm., you’ll be getting a call from the Linn-Benton Emergency Alert System. This test will be coming as a call to all traditional land lines provided they are in the 911 system database, and as a text message to all registered mobile phones that have registered with the Alert system.
This will be a test of the system. These messages will generally tell you what you should or shouldn’t do to keep yourself safe and possibly even how to help resolve an emergency situation.
The governments of Benton County and Linn County are setting up a new system, Linn-Benton Alert, through which local residents can get advance warning of possible danger. If you sign up here, you can choose what form of notification suits you: a text message on your cell phone or TTY, a computer-generated voice call on your landline or cell phone, or an e-mail. When you register, you will be asked to enter your address, which they need in order to be able to tell which people need to know about a downed power line, chemical spill, or fugitive being sought. The message will briefly describe what kind of emergency is taking place, which of the various emergency service agencies in the two-county area is issuing the alert, and advise you on what you should do.
Besides receiving alerts relevant to your home address, you can also tailor your profile to include messages relating to the neighborhood where you work, your children’s school, &c. Any information you share with the alert system will be kept secure and not shared with or sold to anyone else.
Even if you don’t sign up, if you have a landline phone it will automatically receive a computer-generated voice call about an emergency in your neighborhood.
By John M. Burt