Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is Arlington Alert?
  2. What types of alerts will be sent?
  3. How are alerts sent and how do I receive them?
  4. What is the Roam Secure Alert Network?
  5. What is the cost of this service?
  6. How does the Community Alert System work?
  7. Will my cell phone work in a major emergency?
  8. What is text-messaging and how do I sign-up for it?
  9. How many devices/e-mail addresses can I add to my account?
  10. How do I prevent Arlington Alert messages from going to my bulk/junk folder?
  11. How do I receive Arlington alerts on XM Satellite Radio?

 

 

What is Arlington Alert ?
Arlington County is one of the first counties to deploy an emergency notification system for its residents and people working for businesses located in the County. Arlington Alert will be used to broadcast emergency notifications, updates and other important information to you during a major incident.

Click to register now!

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What types of alerts will be sent?
Alert types may include life safety, fire, weather, accidents involving utilities or roadways, team activation notifications, or disaster notification such as a terrorist attack. A few examples of the types of messages that can be sent through RSAN are:

Emergency Situations:

  • Notify citizens of the location of the nearest emergency shelter, available bed space, hours of operation during a crisis;
  • Notify citizens of available evacuation routes during an emergency;
  • Activate special teams within the community, based upon an event

Precautionary Warnings:

  • Severe weather warnings;
  • Activate a citizen watch group if mischievous activity is reported by the police;
  • Pre-cautionary evacuation order if on high alert

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How are alerts sent and how do I receive them?
Alerts are sent across the Roam Secure Alert Network. You will need to sign up for Arlingto Alert account to receive the alerts.

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What is the Roam Secure Alert Network?
Roam Secure Alert Network™ is an emergency communication system used by governments, emergency management agencies and first responders to send emergency alerts, notifications and updates to your cell phone, pager, BlackBerry, PDA and/or e-mail account. 

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What is the cost of this service?
Arlington County is offering the Arlington Alert service free to all. You may sign up free of charge, however your cell phone carrier may charge you monies per text message received. Arlington County does not assume any responsibility for costs charged to you by your carrier.

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How does the Arlington Alert work?
In an emergency situation an alert will be sent by Arlington County authorized personnel and you will receive email notifications, and several text messages on your cell phone or mobile device. Read these messages promptly and follow the instructions.

Additional instructions may follow throughout the emergency situation so keep your phone near you. Even if the cell phones are busy, the messages should still come through to your phone.

When you do receive an alert message, please follow the instructions on that message. Please do NOT call 911 or Arlington's Emergency Communications Center as they are already aware of the emergency -- and your call will tie up precious resources, further endangering the emergency situation.

We will make every effort to update the County's website www.arlingtonva.us in real time with more information about the emergency. In addition, you should tune to local TV and radio.

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Will my cell phone work in a major emergency?
Alerts are delivered using the e-mail messaging (SMS network) feature of your cell phone. The alerts come across like a page on a pager.

Most cell phone carriers, and paging companies, offer e-mail messaging. Nearly all phones purchased within the past few years are e-mail messaging capable.

If you are unsure, contact your carrier to ask about your phone and e-mail messaging.

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What is e-mail messaging and how do I sign-up for it?
E-mail messages come accross as short messages sent to your phone, similar to receiving a page. Each message contains about 160 characters, or about 20 words, depending upon your carrier.

Most carriers activate the service automatically. You should check with your carrier to make sure your e-mail messaging is active. See the carrier matrix for a list of carriers and contact information.

If you are unfamiliar with reading text messages on your phone, read the user manual provided with your phone, or go to its manuacturer's website.

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How many devices/e-mail addresses can I add to my account?
You may have two devices and two e-mail addresses for your Arlington Alert account.

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How do I prevent Arlington Alert messages from going to my bulk/junk folder?
We are currently working with e-mail providers to ensure that our messages are delivered to your inbox and are not perceived to be junk mail. You may also be able to take a few simple steps to help ensure messages arrive at your inbox by configuring your bulk/junk mail settings to recognize our messages and place them directly into your inbox. This typically involves adding Arlington Alert to a 'safe' list, or something similarly named.  Go to https://www.arlingtonalert.com/hlp.php#spaminfo for precise instructions.

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How do I receive Arlington Alerts on XM Satellite Radio?
Sign up for Arlington Alerts at www.arlingtonalert.com and visit www.xmradio.com to learn about subscribing to the XM Satellite Radio service. In addition to e-mail, text messages on cell phones, pagers and PDAs, important Arlington Alerts will be broadcast over the Metro Washington, DC Weather, Traffic and Emergency Channel 214 on XM Radio.

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2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611