Wilmette to test emergency call system
ANSWER THE PHONE
WHAT:Emergency alert system test
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 4
Updated: November 27, 2012 9:18PM
WILMETTE — Residents with land line telephones should expect a special recorded telephone call, around 10:30 a.m. next Tuesday.
The Wilmette Police Department plans to test the village’s emergency notification system.
The Dec. 4 automated call from 866-419-5000 will have a recorded message telling listeners about the notification, Police Chief Brian King said Tuesday.
King said other New Trier Township community police departments that share the emergency notification system also will also be sending messages out as part of the Dec. 4 test.
“We anticipate that everyone in the village will receive a call within a 15 to 17 minute window,” he added.
Since 2006, Wilmette has subscribed to the system, which allows police and fire departments to quickly tell residents about significant emergency situations ranging from floods to hazardous materials spills.
It can be used to contact every village household, but can also target specific blocks or neighborhoods when those areas need to be alerted, King said.
It is regularly tested on an internal basis, but this is the first time an external test has taken place, he said. The system is infrequently used; since 2006, it was triggered once during a flood situation, once when a major storm caused widespread damage and twice when there were public health issues related to refuse pickup.
Because of that, an external test will help gauge the system’s effectiveness while culling old and unused phone numbers from the department’s data base, King said.
Residents who have non-land line phones, and who want to get emergency notification messages, can register for the program. This includes people using voice over internet protocol, cable television-based phone services or cellular phone service.
To register, visit the village website at www.wilmette.com, click on “on-line tools” and follow the links for emergency notification, which is also referred to as Code Red.
Village residents without Internet access may contact Wilmette communications supervisor Eric Peterson at 847-256-9693 for assistance.~.