Staying alert with mobile devices

Posted at: 02/02/2012 11:53 AM

There has been a push for residents of Monroe County to register their cell phones, email, and other wireless devices with the reverse 911 emergency telephone notification system. CTIA, a telecommunications provider association, announced that over 90% of the population uses some sort of mobile device. Nearly 25% of households have eliminated use of landlines in favor of wireless.

“It’s become more difficult to reach community members in emergency situations as people become more dependant on their wireless devices,” said Leighton Jones, Director of Disaster and Emergency Services for the American Red Cross of the Finger Lakes NY Region. “The reverse 911 system for wireless devices allows for much more efficient emergency communication.”

Residents can now go to to register. Before you do, here are some facts everyone should know about the reverse 911 system for wireless devices:

• Monroe County utilizes Pittsford-based Ashergroup’s Hyper-Reach technology, which allows the 911 Center to quickly send a recorded message to telephones in specific areas and alert residents to any emergency situations.
• It delivers critical information and provides guidance on what precautions need to be taken.
• The system is designed to deliver more than 5000 calls per hour.
• Hyper-Reach has been successfully used on a number of occasions such as hazardous chemical releases, missing persons, and barricaded persons.
• All hard-wired phones in Monroe County are automatically listed to receive alerts; however, mobile devices need to be registered in order to receive alerts.
• Registration is quick and easy. All information is kept confidential.
• Users have the option of receiving an audio message, text message, or both along with an email alert.

“We’ve heard that people are hesitant because of similar marketing gimmicks done by companies,” said Jones.  “People don’t want to be bothered, but they should know that Hyper-reach is not used for marketing, rather, it is an emergency contact system designed to notify the public when critical information needs to be communicated.”

To read case studies on the effectiveness of Hyper-Reach, visit:

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

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