1. What is the Marion Alert Notification System?

The Marion Alert Notification System is the primary emergency notification in the event of a Tornado Warning. The Marion Alert Notification System allows people to register phone numbers and e-mail addresses to receive text messages, e-mails in the event of a Tornado Warning impacting Marion County. Phone calls can be sent to the people that do not receive text or e-mail.

In addition to the opt-in tornado warning notification service, the system has many potential beneficial uses. For example, the system provides Marion County with the capability to automatically send a message to each phone number in the County to targeted areas of the County identified through electronic maps. The system can also be used for other special messages for which residents “opt in” or request notification on certain topics or events, such as water outage notifications.

Please note that no communication distribution method is infallible. For that reason, redundant systems of emergency notification, including the telephone, e-mail, text messages, and external systems on commercial radio and TV stations or weather radios may be used to send out alerts as soon as possible.

2. How do I sign up or register for the Marion Alert Notification System?

Clicking on “Register for Marion Alert ” from this web page http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/marion_county_ga/wens.cfm or from the County’s Home page at http://marioncountyga.org/ will take you to a registration page of the third-party vendor that provides the technology service. Simply fill in the requested information.

3. How many phone numbers and e-mail addresses can I register?

The system is set up to limit each address to five-phone number and two e-mail address registrations, but it is possible to register the address more than once. So, if you have six members in your family and each has a cell phone number, you will have to register your address twice to enter all of the numbers into the system. Please note that the County reserves the right to restrict the number of registrations at an individual property.

4. How do I acquire additional information about the Marion Alert Notification System, report a problem with the system, or get help with my registration?

Please e-mail any additional questions or report problems to mariongaema@yahoo.com or call 229-649-3025 Leave Message.

5. I registered, but I don't seem to be receiving any notifications. What should I do?

Call Rod Aide at 229-649-3025 Leave Message. We can help investigate what issues might be occurring and resolve the problem. The most likely problem is that the electronic mapping system is not recognizing the address as it was registered.

6. Is there a charge for registering to receive messages through the Marion Alert Notification System?

NO, this is a free service provided by the Marion County Emergency Management/Marion County. The service is funded through a GEMA Grant and matching fund by Marion County.

Your cell phone provider may charge you for receiving text or phone messages, however, if that is part of your plan with your provider. If you are concerned about being charged for a voice or text notification, check your service agreement with your wireless carrier for details. Service costs from your cellular provider are your responsibility.

7. What type of notifications will I receive?

Everyone in the County can receive notification of significant weather warnings and water outages, if they are registered in the Alert System.

Tornado Warnings, special notifications from Marion County Emergency Management and County water outages and any messages to cell phones or e-mail accounts, require registration.

8. Under what circumstances will I receive notifications?

There are three circumstances under which a person could receive a notification, but most of the options require you to register before you will receive any notifications.

1. If the person registered for Tornado Warning Notifications, that person would receive the notification if the specific location of a Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service includes the address location associated with the phone number. To receive a Tornado Warning Notification, YOU MUST VOLUNTARILY REGISTER.

2. If there is a significant public health or safety event placing residents or areas of Marion County at risk, (These events will be determined by Marion County Emergency Management) a notification can be sent to the affected geographic area using the addresses provided. This is only done in the event of significant emergencies, and the County has established internal protocols to avoid unnecessary notifications. You do not need to register to receive such notifications.

3. The registration page offers certain “groups” that an individual can register for if they want to receive special notifications related to this specific topic. The County refers to these as 'opt-in' groups. Registration for these groups is completely voluntary.

9. I do not have Internet access, how can I sign up to get Marion Alert Notifications' voice messages to my phones?

You may call 229-649-3025, and we can help you register. The Library also offers Internet access as one of their services.

10. Does the County sell the phone numbers? Will registering for this system cause me to get more marketing calls or spam e-mails?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Your registration information is private and will not be shared. Neither Marion County nor the third party provider will sell or provide the registered phone numbers or e-mail addresses to any other vendor or service.

11. How do I unsubscribe? I do not want to receive notification messages anymore.

At any time, you can simply return to the registration page via the County’s website to unsubscribe. Click ‘Unsubscribe’ at the bottom of the page. The system will then ask you for a phone number or e-mail address to unsubscribe. Enter the phone number or e-mail address you wish to unsubscribe and hit ‘unsubscribe’.

12. How do I update my information if my e-mail address, cell phone number, or other information has changed?

If your contact information has changed, follow the instructions above to unsubscribe the information that has changed. You must then register again with your new contact information.

13. How do I switch a phone number from receiving a text message to receiving a voice call or vice versa?

This is the same as changing contact information. You must follow the instructions above to unsubscribe the phone number and then you must re-register the number requesting the alternate notification method.

14. How do I switch a phone number from being part of an ‘opt-in’ group for which I previously registered?

This is the same as changing contact information. You must follow the instructions above to unsubscribe the phone number and then you must re-register the number selecting the groups in which you want to remain. DON’T FORGET TO RE-CLICK THE TORNADO WARNING GROUP!

15. Exactly what phones will be able to receive these voice notification calls?

All registered landline phones

16. What phone number will show up on my caller ID?

The call will be shown as coming from 69310 for text messages and (229)649-3025 for phone calls. The County recommends saving this number in your cell phone and assigning it the name ‘Marion Alert Notifications’. By doing so you won’t disregard a call because you don’t recognize the number. This is just a phone system number, however, so you will not get a person if you call the number back.

17. Will the Notification System work if there is a power failure?

Generally Yes. The Tornado Warning system, for example, is automated and occurs between the National Weather Service and the third party provider, Inspiron Logistics. Inspiron Logistics maintains multiple call centers across the nation so if one goes down, the service is still maintained. As such, the Tornado Warning notification is very dependable.

All other notifications are partially dependent upon computer systems functioning at the County Emergency Management Office. Also, it is possible for our Internet provider to have system issues that could prohibit the County’s access to the Notification System, but even in this event the County can contact the company directly and have notifications sent. Similarly, each resident's phone, e-mail, and text message systems are subject to failure due to emergencies and disasters. Therefore, it is possible for the system to be unavailable at times, but backup systems are in place that make the system very dependable overall.

18. Will all cellular phone carriers deliver Marion Alert Notification messages?

Yes, As with all cell phone calls, signal strength and other issues with your carrier could impact delivery of the message to your phone. Text messages, if selected as an option, will be sent to your carrier for delivery to your phone. Each carrier establishes its own protocols for delivery of text messages, so it is possible for text messages to be delayed.

19. Will I receive ads or Spam on my phone?

No. Inspiron Logistics, the company behind the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) does not tolerate spam text or e-mail messages. Inspiron Logistics maintains an anti-spam policy as part of the compliance to operate with Tier 1 provisioning with all of the major North American carriers. Tier 1 provisioning is only granted to top emergency officials and the WENS system (Inspiron Logistics product name). This means that when the mobile networks are completely congested, the only messages allowed to go through are those with Tier 1 provisioning as a matter of priority.

20. I don't use text messages. Can I receive Marion Alert Notifications by e-mail?

Yes. When you sign up online, fill in your e-mail address in the proper field. You will be sent your emergency notification through the e-mail address that you registered.

21. Can I register to receive just an e-mail?

Yes, but this is not recommended. You do not need to register a telephone number or address to receive e-mail notifications in the ‘opt-in’ categories or groups, however, if the County uses the mapping feature to send out the message to only a portion of the County, you will not get the message without a property address linked to the e-mail address. AN ADDRESS MUST BE ENTERED TO RECEIVE TORNADO WARNING NOTIFICATIONS.

22. Can I register a phone number outside of Marion County?

Yes. For example, a business owner in Marion County may list their Marion County business address but list a phone number from Columbus if they wish to be notified of a Tornado Warning or other significant event that puts their business location at risk. Registration works the same when you list a phone number outside of Marion County.

23. Can I register an address outside of Marion County?

The system is not intended to include addresses outside of Marion County. The mapping technology that reads addresses focuses on Marion County addresses. Service is not intended nor guaranteed for addresses outside of Marion County.

24. Why does the Marion Alert Notification System send text messages?

Text messages are simply an option in today’s society. Many people prefer to receive text messages as compared to voice messages. The system does limit text messages to fewer characters, so the notification provided may be briefer or more limited than a voice message. Each person is encouraged to sign up for the method or methods that will most likely ensure they receive the message.

25. After I received a voice message notification the system asked me to ‘Press 1 to acknowledge receipt’. Do I have to press 1?

No, but we hope you do! Acknowledging receipt of the message doesn’t impact your service or mean you will receive more calls later. It simply allows the County to track the use and effectiveness of the system. Acknowledging the call enables the County to see how many calls are going through and if the calls are being listened to. The information we get from evaluating the system may enable us to improve the system.

26. How can the system call everyone in Marion County at once?

It doesn’t call everyone at once because the individual local phone carriers can’t handle that many calls at once. The system is set up to place around 300 calls at a time. This number will be evaluated overtime as we monitor the capacity of the phone companies.

27. Will the Marion County periodically test this system?

Yes, tests are possible. The County will monitor the results of each notification issued and determine if there is a need to test the system to verify subscriptions to this system and to ensure the system is working properly. The County will avoid unnecessary tests, but will perform tests if determined that it is necessary for the integrity of the system.

28. Can I unregister from receiving notifications of significant public safety hazards that are issued.

Yes, the County does allow an individual to be removed from the system entirely but strongly discourages any individual from taking this option. Such notifications are very rare but can be vital to ensuring your safety. For example, notifications cover events such as a need to boil your water due to a problem with the water system, a need to evacuate due to a chemical spill or other event, Emergency Declarations, or prisoner escapes. Such events almost never occur, but preparation and NOTIFICATION is the key to avoiding significant loss or tragedy. The County, therefore, strongly encourages individuals NOT to remove their name from the Notification System.

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