Wantage Press Release

Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Division Of Emergency Management and 9-1-1 Coordination

Sheriff Robert Untig announces that Sussex County has added a new capability to its emergency service capacity for the residents of and visitors to the county. Using grant funding from the State Homeland Security Grant program, the ‘Community Alerting System’ enables authorized public officials to notify the public of imminent life/property threat emergencies by computer-generated telephone calls to all registered telephones in Sussex County.

Some 88,000 home and business telephones of the Verizon, Embarq (CenturyLink) and Warwick Valley Telephone systems are already in the database.

Cellular phones can be added by going to the Website at sussexcountysheriff.org and click on the “Community Alert System” link.

The system will function unless telephone service is specifically disrupted. This will include times when there are power outages. However, most people have telephone answering systems that use a power supply to receive phone calls. Those phones will not receive the alerts when power is disrupted. Therefore, as per FEMA readiness guidelines, all homes and businesses should have at least one “hardwired” telephone capable of working in power outages. A ‘hardwired’ telephone is one that plugs directly into the phone jack on the wall.

Those people who use a computer-based phone system should have an “uninterrupted power supply’ to assure continuous telephone contact and should check with their alternative phone provider to make sure they access the 9-1-1 system.

The system will only be activated by authorized personnel and protocols will be followed. It will only be used in an emergency and it includes a mapping feature that will permit notifications in specific areas of the county or any municipality.

There is currently a Spanish language capability and other languages will be added soon.

For further information, if necessary call County Emergency Management Coordinator Skip Danielson at 973-296-3571.

posted 8/27/09