Wednesday, January 13, 2016

CALLING 911- Alternate Numbers

You may have seen the press coverage over the past week or so about the April 9-10, 2014, 6 hour 911 outage involving CenturyLink. Most recently, the Washington State Attorney General has stated that an almost $3 million settlement between CenturyLink and the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) is not high enough and that the UTC should impose the maximum legal penalty of $11.5 million (

Outages like this are rare. But outages can occur due to technical problems or severe weather, like when we have strong winter wind storms. Also, natural disasters such as a big earthquake could easily disrupt telephone communications. One possible way around an outage is to program the non-emergency/alternate 10 digit phone number for your local 911 agency in your cell phone or mobile phone. Those numbers are:

·         For SNOPAC that is (425) 407-3970.

·         For SNOCOM that is (425) 775-4545.

Also, knowing what is going on during a weather related or natural emergency is essential to your safety. Keeping an old fashioned battery operated radio is important to keeping informed. Also, sign up for alerts from Snohomish County that can be delivered either by email and/or text message from the county Department of Emergency Management. You can sign up for these messages at

Thanks to Lisa and Paul for the tip.



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