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Get to Know the Alert Escambia Emergency Notification System

Published Jan 23, 2023

On Friday, Jan. 13, an Escambia County "Alert Escambia" emergency notification was broadcasted to help locate a missing child. The alert informed the public of the last known whereabouts and detailed description of the child. Fortunately, the child was located approximately an hour after the alert was distributed.  

What is Alert Escambia?

Escambia County, in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, utilizes a system called Everbridge, which is known as a reverse 911 notification system. Reverse 911 is a public safety communications technology used by public safety organizations in the United States and Canada to communicate with groups of people in a defined geographic area. The system uses a database of telephone numbers and associated addresses, which, when tied into geographic information systems, can be used to deliver recorded emergency notifications to a selected set of telephone service subscribers.

Everbridge is preloaded with all known Escambia County white and yellow page phone numbers and incorporates numbers from residents that have signed up to receive alerts. ECEM also uses Everbridge to send federal warning mass notifications known as the Integrated Public Alert Warning System. An example of an IPAWS notification would be a hurricane evacuation alert. Residents do not need to sign up for IPAWS notifications because it is federally mandated that cell phone carriers provide this data to FEMA.

In the case of the missing child on Friday evening, Alert Escambia was used to notify residents that live within a five-mile radius of the last-sighted location of the child.

"I encourage everyone to sign up for the Alert Escambia notification system," said District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender. "That way, you can be informed of local weather and other community alerts for your specific area. Hopefully, we can have the same positive outcome in the future as we did with the missing child on Jan. 13."

Escambia County Emergency Management encourages citizens to signup for Alert Escambia by going to MyEscambia.com/BeReady. The Alert Escambia link is located at the top right-hand corner of the page. There is also a video that shows you how to make sure your cell phone can receive emergency alerts. The telephone number that will be displayed on your phone will be 850-471-6500. This valuable tool helps Escambia County residents to be informed of life safety alerts in our community.

"Living on the Gulf Coast, we have multiple hazards that can and will affect our citizens," said Emergency Manager Travis Tompkins. "Signing up for Alert Escambia will ensure that citizens are informed of those hazards and what action to take to protect themselves and their families."

what3words App

Escambia County residents are encouraged to download the "what3words" app for your cell phone. What3words is a proprietary geocode system that's designed to identify any location in the world with a resolution of about three meters. The app divides the surface of Earth into three-meter squares, which are then identified by three random words. The what3words app can assist public safety officials identify the exact location of a missing person by using the three words assigned to their geographic location. 

Learn more about the what3words app here.

More information on what to do before, during and after a storm is available online at MyEscambia.com/BeReady. You can also follow @BeReadyEscambia on Twitter and like Escambia County Emergency Management on Facebook for the latest news and updates on emergencies impacting our community.

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The mission of Escambia County government is to provide efficient, responsive services that enhance our quality of life, meet common needs and promote a safe and healthy community.

Under Florida law, IP addresses and both the content of emails and email addresses are public records. If you do not want your IP address and the content of your email or your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in person.

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