NWCDS ALERT. If we Can t Reach you We can t ALERT you NWCDS

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1 NWCDS 1975 East Davis Street Arlington Heights, Illinois NWCDS ALERT We want you to be safe and informed during emergencies in your community including public health threats, fires and public safety crisis. If we Can t Reach you We can t ALERT you NWCDS Alert Emergency Notification System

2 NWCDS Alert The Communities we serve: Arlington Heights Buffalo Grove Elk Grove Village Hoffman Estates Inverness Mount Prospect Palatine Palatine Rural FPD Prospect Heights Rolling Meadows Schaumburg Streamwood NWCDS Alert is a telephone based emergency notification system that may be used to communicate critical information during an emergency when there is a threat to the health or safety of residents. In addition to emergency information, you may: -Select to receive messages regarding crime bulletins, road closures, municipal service alerts and other community events. -Choose the locations you want to be contacted about your home, your parents home, your workplace and your child s school located in the NWCDS coverage area. -Receive alerts on your home phone, cellular phone, work phone, , TTY or instant messaging. NWCDS Alert employs a combination of database and mapping technologies used to pinpoint a specific area of your community or to select the entire community and deliver a message. The system is preloaded with AT&T land line and Comcast and WOW VoIP phone numbers. Register online now with NWCDS Alert to receive notices instantly any way you choose home phone, cell phone, work phone, TTY, text message and more. Go to: or your community s web site to register.

3 NW ALERT Frequently Asked Questions Northwest Central Dispatch System prepared a list of the most anticipated questions about NWCDS Alert. This document may serve as a valuable resource during interviews or to address questions from city/village leaders and the public. What is NWCDS Alert? This service allows you to opt-in to receive emergency alerts, notifications and updates via , text message and/or voice communication methods based on geographic locations you identify. You may identify up to five locations. What are some of the features of NWCDS Alert? Delivers targeted alerts during location-specific emergencies, such as public safety events. Available applications on iphone and Android platforms allow alerts to be sent to your phone via the app and will illustrate the specific text of the warning as well as any associated geographical information. Individuals can easily manage their account information. How does NWCDS Alert work? The process begins when in the event of an emergency, weather or traffic situation NWCDS or your community issues an emergency notification using NWCDS Alert to inform you about a potential safety hazard or concern and may provide instructions for safety precautions or evacuation. NWCDS Alert contacts thousands of residents instantly by phone, text, and TTY. The system dials your main contact number or . If a confirmation is requested and you don t confirm receipt of the message, the system will try to reach your second contact number or . The system will continue trying to contact you until it receives confirmation from you. The success of the system relies on YOU. Having your latest contact information is the only way to ensure that we can contact you in an emergency. Individuals should promptly follow instructions and continue to keep devices near them in the event that subsequent information is disseminated. It is important for residents not to rely on NWCDS Alert as their only means of emergency notification. The system may be used in conjunction with information provided by the media, directions given by emergency responders and information posted on official community websites.

4 NWCDS and its member communities use Everbridge to send you important information during emergencies. Listen to (or read) the message carefully and follow instructions and if applicable to confirm receipt. When will it be used? This system will be used to contact you about imminent threats to health and safety as well as informational notifications that affect your geographic locations. Administrators will send notifications regarding unexpected road closures and other public safety incidents. Emergency Alerts Can Include Evacuation notices, hazardous materials incidents, community policing (AMBER alerts, endangered missing adults, investigative canvassing, prisoner escapes, search for outstanding suspects), public health alerts (boil water alerts, biting animal alerts, infectious disease outbreak, heat and cold advisories to vulnerable populations), severe weather, and any other threat to the health or safety of residents Community Alerts Can Include Non emergency police and fire information, community event information, utility notifications and public works projects/road closures Which communities are participating? The Villages of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Schaumburg and Streamwood and the Cities of Prospect Heights and Rolling Meadows. Who sends alerts? The Northwest Central Dispatch System (NWCDS) and the member communities have designated authorized senders to issue alerts. Alerts may go out to everyone with an account or to select groups of individuals depending on the type of alerts to which they subscribed or the geographic area impacted. What are the system capabilities? NWCDS Alert has the ability to contact thousands of residents instantly via home telephone number, cellular telephone number, business telephone number, address, text messaging, TTY and instant messaging.

5 What is the message delivery rate? Approximately 100,000 simultaneous telephonic calls, text messages and s per hour. Where do the telephone numbers in the database come from? NWCDS Alert employs a combination of database and mapping technologies used to pinpoint a specific area of your community or to select the entire community and deliver a message. The system is preloaded with AT&T land line and Comcast and WOW Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers. Cellular telephone numbers are only included in the database when a citizen opts in. How much does NWCDS Alert cost? NWCDS Alert is a free service provided to the public by the communities of Northwest Central Dispatch System. Who is the current vendor for the NWCDS Alert System? The current vendor for NWCDS Alert is Everbridge, a leading emergency notification system provider. Organizations in more than 100 countries rely on Everbridge for their emergency notification and day to day communication needs. For more information about Everbridge, please visit Who do I contact if I have problems, questions or comments? We encourage you to read the FAQ in its entirety before contacting us. If you still need assistance please Registration & NWCDS Alert Subscriptions: How do I register for an account? Please register online to: Select to receive messages regarding non emergency police and fire information, community event information, utility notifications, community events, and public works projects/road closures; Choose the additional locations you want to be contacted about such as your parents home, your workplace and your child s school; Receive alerts on your home phone, cell phone, work phone, , text, TTY or instant messaging. Website: Please register online: If you only have a cell phone to receive emergency alerts. Up to 10 devices can be added to each individual account and alerts can be sent to all devices listed. Note that delivery by voice option is not used in every situation. To get started, please click Sign Up by visiting or your community website and click Notification Sign Up.

6 I had an account; do I need to sign up again? With the migration to an enhanced alerting platform, individuals who were enrolled previously in the system must sign up with NWCDS Alert to ensure timely and accurate delivery of notifications and alerts. Why do I need to provide an address? Individuals are required to enter a valid address which allows us to target information specific to a geographic location. Some emergency alerts, such as those for an evacuation or gas line breaks/leaks, are only sent to account holders with addresses listed near the event location. You may enter up to five addresses. What if I do not want to enter my home address? A valid address is required. If you are not comfortable entering your home address, you may use the address of a local school, post office, public building, or any valid street address closest to your home or place of work. Can I register with an address outside of the NWCDS service area? Yes, anyone can sign up for NWCDS Alert regardless of where you live and/or work. However, NWCDS ALERT only provides notifications for incidents/events that have a potential impact in the NWCDS service area. Certain types of alerts will only be received by individuals within a certain radius of the event/incident location (i.e., public safety incidents). If you live and/or work outside of the NWCDS service area, you're encouraged to sign-up for that respective jurisdiction's alerting system. Will my contact information be shared with others? No. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and is not used for any purpose other than to send emergency notifications or information pertaining to your community. It is never shared or distributed unless required to do so by law. What types of devices are compatible with NWCDS Alert? Landlines, most cell phones that employ text messaging (SMS network) and accounts are compatible with NWCDS Alert. Standard text message charges may apply from your mobile carrier, depending on your text message plan. If you are unsure about text messaging on your cell phone, please contact your provider. What if my phone number(s) or address(es) change? The system is only as good as the information you provide. If your contact information changes, please visit your profile and update your information. I no longer want to receive alerts. How do I disable my account? You can stop receiving non-emergency/informational notifications at any time by removing your contact information from your profile. What alerts will I receive automatically? All individuals will automatically receive any vital emergency notification deemed necessary by authorized senders.

7 What types of community alerts can I choose to receive? You can elect to receive alerts about crime bulletins, flooding, road closures, hydrant flushing, community events, parking alerts and your community s municipal service alerts. Receiving a NWCDS Alert: What number will show up when you send me a text message? What number will show up when you call me? What address will notifications come from? When you receive text messages from NWCDS Alert, they will be sent from your community s administrative phone number. We encourage you to add this text number into your mobile phone contacts to easily identify text messages that are alerts. If you have provided a voice number, the system will contact you from your community s administrative phone number with specific emergency alerts. We encourage you to also add this number in your mobile phone contacts to easily identify it as an alert call. In addition, notifications will come and you are encouraged to add this to your address book or safe list to ensure it does not get marked as SPAM by your provider. I registered several communication devices; will the system contact me on each one? The system will continue to cycle through every communication device available until the message is delivered and if applicable confirmed by the recipient. To confirm a message, you must listen to the entire message and then press 1. How does the system respond to busy signals or no-answer situations? If you provided contact information other than your phone number that has been pre-loaded, the system will attempt to contact you on your additional contact methods. The call will be repeated several times in an attempt to reach you. If the phone is answered by a message recorder, the message will be left on the answering device. If, after several attempts the call does not successfully go through, the system will stop attempting to call. Accessing NWCDS Alert: What Web browsers are supported by NWCDS Alert? All web browsers are supported. The system developer, however, recommends the use of Google Chrome.

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