Frequently Asked Questions about the NorthShoreAlert® service:

What is the NorthShoreAlert service? The NorthShoreAlert service allows authorized civic leaders to create and rapidly disseminate time-sensitive messages to every telephone number stored in the notification database. With the NorthShoreAlert service, authorized users can send thousands of messages in minutes. Only authorized officials are allowed access to the system.

How does the service work? Authorized officials record a voice message that is then delivered quickly to individual phones in the notification database.

What types of messages will be sent using the service? Any message regarding the safety or welfare of our community could be disseminated using the NorthShoreAlert service.

Examples would include severe weather warnings and updates, hazardous traffic or road conditions inside the town or affecting local routes, and any other situation that could impact the safety, property, or welfare of our citizens.   It can also be used for non-emergency communiqués as well.

Does the NorthShoreAlert service replace other systems that have been used to provide time-sensitive information to residents? This system is a significant enhancement to existing means of communication and is supplemental to, not a replacement for, the systems we have used in the past.

Is my telephone number included in the notification database? It is our intention and hope that every residence and commercial facility in our community be included in the notification database. For businesses, we only store one main phone number. For residents, we may have more than one number that belongs to you in the database. Additionally, you may request to have a secondary number be entered into our database for priority calling.

May I use a cell phone as my notification database listing? Yes, we can accept cell phones as secondary phone numbers in the database and encourage you to request that your number be included.

What precautions are being taken to protect personal information? The service providers take security and privacy concerns very seriously and do not sell, trade, lease or loan any data about our clients to any third party. From a technical perspective, they utilize multiple physical and virtual layers of firewalls to maintain data security and only utilizes secure transmissions with its customers. Data is hosted in state-of-the-art facilities which require photo identification, thumb-print recognition, keyed access, and are manned 24/7 with full-security personnel.

Will there be a way to positively identify incoming calls which are made by the town using the system? The caller-ID number for calls generated by the NorthShoreAlert service will be the same as from the municipality or special district sending it.  In addition, every message will begin with the same standard announcement.  As an example, “Hello, this is Chief/Mayor _______ calling with an important message from the ________ Village/Dept”. The message content will follow this standard introduction.

Will the NorthShoreAlert service work if I have a call screening system on my phone? There are several varieties of call screening devices which use differing protocols for screening. In general, the system has been found to work with these devices; but, some may require some type of pre-programming to allow our town’s telephone number to pass through. We may conduct periodic test to assure that messages are being delivered to numbers in the notification database.

If I am a non-resident home or apartment owner, what phone should be listed in the notification database? For non-residents or owners who reside out of our area, you may provide an additional phone number to be included in our database to contact during certain situations. In general, calls are sent to the primary number only, but we also have the ability to call multiple numbers for each resident or business when requested by the resident or business. You can use the web portal at NorthShoreAlert.org to add that info.

If I have provided more than one phone number, when will they be called? Should a situation arise that requires us to contact you at multiple phone numbers, we can activate the system to place a simultaneous call to all of your numbers. In most cases, we will be sending calls only to one phone number.

My primary phone or my second listing is a cell phone with a non-local area code. Will the NorthShoreAlert service call numbers outside the area? Yes. The area code does not impact whether or not a call is made as long as it is domestic United States.

How does the NorthShoreAlert system respond to busy signals or no-answer situations? For busy signals, the call will be repeated several times in an attempt to reach you. The same is true for No-answer and Call-waiting. If the phone is answered by a message recorder, the message will be left on the answering device. If, after several attempts the call does not successfully go through, the system will stop attempting to call.

I am receiving notification calls at my fax or my secondary phone line. Can I switch to have the system call my primary phone number? Yes. Please contact your village or the town to change the phone number in our notification database.  Please be clear in what you wish deleted.

I was not able to listen to the entire call. Is there a way to repeat the message? Yes, at the end of the message playback, simply press the star (*) key on your telephone to have it repeated in its entirety.

I answer the phone but the “Hello” message repeats. It then hangs up, calls back, and the same thing happens again. How can I hear the entire message? Repeating or looping of messages happens when the system detects excessive noise in the background. This can be caused by loud radio/television volumes, people talking, or busy traffic noise. When you receive the next call, say “hello” once and turn down the volume of your radio/television or press the mute button on your telephone to allow full message delivery.

Disclaimer:  The NorthShoreAlert system is not a substitute for other methods of being notified and civic leaders cannot assure you that all phone numbers have been included, cannot assure you that there are not errors in the database, nor assure that messages will be sent or received in a timely fashion, if at all.  Even though there is confidence in the quality of the systems it is offered and used on a ‘reasonable efforts’ basis.