Telephone Alert System Limitations

Mailing Address:
9521 Tilley Rd. SW
Olympia, WA 98512

Phone: (360) 867-2800
Fax: (360) 867-2811

Email Webmaster

Updated:  October 04, 2017 02:42 PM

Can your phone receive our emergency notifications?
Important information for subscribers

Our telephone alert system may not successfully reach you if we cannot call your home simply by dialing your phone number.  Some of the telephone services that conflict with our system are:

Call Curfew Locks your phone during pre-set hours to prevent incoming and outgoing calls.
Anonymous Call Rejection Blocks calls when the number is not identified on Caller ID.
Caller ID Privacy Plus Requires callers to state their name so you can screen the call.
Do Not Disturb Locks your phone on demand to prevent incoming calls.
No Solicitation Plays a message to callers that you do not accept solicitation calls.  Requires the caller to manually press a button before successfully ringing through to your phone.

As new phone services are introduced, they may also affect emergency notification.

How do these services interfere with our emergency calls?

Thurston County uses a computer to make the emergency calls. This does not allow us to manually press a button or speak our name.

Our calls are made from PBX phone lines, which are not identified on Caller ID units. If you block your telephone from receiving calls from unidentified or "private" numbers, you will not receive our notifications

Finally, if your phone is locked to prevent incoming calls, you will not receive any calls, including emergency notifications from any source.

Thurston County cannot always detect whether you receive our calls

Because some of these systems answer your calls with a phone company recording, an additional complication occurs. When our system "hears" a recording, it prepares to leave an answering machine message. Our system plays the emergency message and logs the call as an answering machine call, but you have no recording or our message.

How can these problems be avoided?

Emergency Management recommends that people who subscribe to our telephone alert system consider choosing not to subscribe to the telephone features listed above, nor to others like them.

For more information, contact Thurston County Emergency Management at 360-867-2800.