City upgrades Reverse 911 system

Published 11:07 am Friday, April 2, 2010

FRANKLIN—The city purchased its Reverse 911 system in 2008 to make it easier to notify residents of emergencies, natural disasters and even utility outages.

“It’s just a good tool to be able to get emergency information out there to the people,” said Michael Futrell, the chief dispatcher at the Franklin Police Department. However, the original system could only made calls to landline telephones, which was increasingly problematic as residents abandoned landlines for cellular and Internet phone service.

Futrell said he noticed the trend in the weekly landline telephone listings Verizon provides to the city.

“I see deletions from Verizon every week,” he said. “We really had no way of reaching these people.”

That was until earlier this week, when the city implemented an upgrade for the Reverse 911 system.

The upgraded system allows residents to register over the Internet through a password-protected account. This allows them to include cellular phones and email addresses.

“It gives these people a chance to register and be notified,” Futrell said.

To register, residents should visit and click on the Reverse 911 registration link. Futrell said all registration information is secure and will not be given out.

While the Reverse 911 system is a useful tool, Futrell said no technology is perfect. He said residents should still listen for warnings on television, radio and other media sources during an emergency.