Director of Emergency Management Keith Garrison and Central Communications Director Donald Buttram are encouraging all Cumberland County residents to register their mobile telephones to receive emergency alerts from the 911 Center.

Cumberland County, along with 14 other Upper Cumberland counties, use Hyper-Reach emergency telephone notification system, which is provided and maintained by the Asher Group, a firm based in Pittsford, NY. Hyper-Reach allows 911 to quickly send a recorded message to telephones in a specific area informing residents of an emergency situation that requires action on their part. The system is designed to deliver more than 25,000 calls per hour. It has been successfully used on a number of occasions for incidents such as hazardous chemical spills, missing persons and barricaded persons. The message informs residents of what is occurring and what steps they need to take, along with informing them of when the incident is over.

All hard wired telephones in Cumberland County are automatically listed to receive these alerts, however there is no central registry of mobile telephones, so individuals need to register them in order to receive alerts. This process also applies to weather alerts.

The directors noted the number of people who are dependent on their mobile telephone is climbing. More than two-thirds of the calls made to 911 are coming from these devices. According to CTIA, a telecommunications provider association, 91 percent of the population is using some form of mobile device, with 24.5 percent of households eliminating their hardwired telephone for wireless only.

To register a mobile telephone, go to www.cumberlandtn911.org or cumberlandcountytn.gov and follow the Hyper-Reach link. It only takes a minute and the information is kept confidential. Users have the options of receiving an audio message, text message or both, along with an email alert. If a user moves, they can use the same method to update their address.