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Emergency Notification System

What is an Emergency Notification System (ENS)?

Emergency Notification Systems, or ENS, provide mass notification to residents in the event of an emergency through telephone calls, text messages, and/or emails.

What should I do if I receive an Emergency Notification System (ENS) alert?
If you receive a message, listen or read carefully. Follow the instructions given. You may be directed to a commercial TV or radio station for further information. Do not hang up until you have heard the entire message or you may miss important information. Do not call 9-1-1 for further information unless directed to do so. You will only tie up the emergency lines.

How does the Emergency Notification System (ENS) determine what phone numbers to dial?
Public safety agencies have the authority to use all known landline telephone numbers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) numbers for ENS calls including confidential telephone numbers.  Citizens can also register to receive ENS messages via cell phone calls, text messages and e-mails.  

Why you may not receive an alert?
ENS systems use a database of known landlines and VoIP numbers. As communication technology has evolved, one central database is not available for all of the options of receiving phone calls or written messages. Cell phone numbers, some VoIP numbers, and other numbers from other types of service not associated with traditional telephone service providers, will not be in the database. Also, multiple telephone numbers associated with one central system may not be contacted. These types of phones must be registered separately.

What are some of the uses for the Emergency Notification System (ENS)?
The primary use is to notify residents of an immediate emergency. It can be used to define an area for evacuation or "shelter in place" notifications for incidents such as a hazardous material spill or a major gas leak. It can also be used to direct residents to a specific TV or Radio station for further important details and instructions. It may alert residents to shelters during weather or power emergencies. ENS messages can also be used to alert a neighborhood to watch for a lost child, an impaired individual who has walked away, or dangerous individuals that may be in the area.

Who pays for the Emergency Notification System (ENS)?
Montgomery County 9-1-1 assumes the cost for emergency notifications and partners with the public safety agencies in the county to use the system as needed.

Is an Emergency Notification System (ENS) alert the only means of notification?
No. Emergency Notification System alerts are not 100% reliable. Messages cannot reach everyone and is only a part of the notification process. An ENS is only one tool available to emergency managers. Alternative methods of alerting the public include social media, NOAA weather radio, and traditional media (radio and television).

Emergency Notification System Alerts:

  • Listen Carefully
  • Follow Instructions
  • Don't hang up until you hear the whole message
  • DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless instructed

Questions about Emergency Notifications can be directed to the Montgomery County Emergency Communications District at 936-523-5911.

To receive alerts register here.

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