Has the city got your number? Evanstonians may find out as early as tomorrow.

The City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on policies for operating its new mass notification system, just as a major winter storm starts dumping snow on the city.

The emergency alert system, sometimes referred to as reverse-911, is scheduled to go into operation Tuesday, using Internet-based software provided by Everbridge, Inc.

The system is supposed to use phone book listings and records of past calls residents have made to the city’s 911 system to create a geo-coded database that the city can use to send out alerts by phone, email and wireless devices.

In addition to providing notices of such relatively uncommon events as earthquakes or riots, daytime snow emergency parking restrictions on side streets and overnight snow route parking bans on main roads are among the types of incidents the system is designed to be used for, according to a staff report prepared for tonight’s meeting.

The national weather service is predicting blizzard conditions from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon with snow accumulations of over 18 inches possible for Evanston.

Of course, all the usual snow emergency notification techniques — including sounding the emergency sirens and providing recorded phone messages on the city’s 847-864-SNOW hotline — will still be available during this week’s storm.

Update 7:30 p.m.: As of this evening, residents can sign up to get notifications by phone or e-mail on the city website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


    1. No opt out

      The story from the city manager at tonight’s special City Council meeting is that you can’t opt out of the emergency notifications, but will only get the non-emergency ones if you opt in.

      — Bill

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