1. What is the City of Franklin Notification System?
The Franklin Notification System is primarily a second layer of emergency notification in the event of a Tornado Warning. The City’s new siren system provides a broad, primary method of notification, but there are times, conditions, or locations where people may not always be able to hear the siren system. The Franklin Notification System allows people to register phone numbers and e-mail addresses to receive voice calls, text messages, or e-mails in the event of a Tornado Warning impacting Franklin.
In addition to the opt-in tornado warning notification service, the system has many potential beneficial uses. For example, the system provides the City with the capability to automatically send a recorded voice message to each phone number in Franklin’s 911 database or to targeted areas of the City identified through electronic maps. The system can also be used for other special messages for which residents “opt in” or request notification on certain topics or events.
Please note that no communication distribution method is infallible. For that reason, redundant systems of emergency notification, including the outdoor siren system, telephone, e-mail, text messages, and external systems on commercial radio and TV stations or weather radios may be used to send out alerts as soon as possible.
2. How do I sign up or register for the Franklin Notification System?
Clicking on “Register” from this web page or from the City’s Home page at www.franklinwi.gov will take you to a registration page of the third-party vendor that provides the technology service. Simply fill in the requested information.
3. How many phone numbers and e-mail addresses can I register?
As many as you need. The system is set up to limit each address to five phone number and two e-mail address registrations, but it is possible to register the address more than once. So, if you have six members in your family and each has a cell phone number, you will have to register your address twice to enter all of the numbers into the system. Please note that the City reserves the right to restrict the number of registrations at an individual property.
4. How do I acquire additional information about the City of Franklin Notification System, report a problem with the system, or get help with my registration?
Please e-mail any additional questions or report problems to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 414-858-1100.
5. I registered, but I don't seem to be receiving any notifications. What should I do?
Call Lisa Huening or Mark Luberda at 414-858-1100. We can help investigate what issues might be occurring and resolve the problem. The most likely problem is that the electronic mapping system is not recognizing the address as it was registered.
6. Is there a charge for registering to receive messages through the Franklin Notification System?
NO, this is a free service provided by the City of Franklin. The service is funded through August of 2012 by a grant received through the City’s Health Department.
Your cell phone provider may charge you for receiving text or phone messages, however, if that is part of your plan with your provider. If you are concerned about being charged for a voice or text notification, check your service agreement with your wireless carrier for details. Service costs from your cellular provider are your responsibility.
7. What type of notifications will I receive?
Everyone in the City, whether they register in the system or not, can receive notification of significant public health and safety events or hazards to their home phone number provided it is in the 911 database.
All other notifications require registration. Tornado Warnings, special groups notifications (such as a Snow Emergency Declaration Notification), and any messages to cell phones or e-mail accounts, require registration. So, except for significant emergencies where the City decides to use numbers from the 911 database, you will only receive notifications for which you have volunteered (registered).
8. Under what circumstances will I receive notifications?
There are four circumstances under which a person could receive a notification, but most of the options require you to register before you will receive any notifications.
- If the person registered for Tornado Warning Notifications, that person would receive the notification if the specific location of a Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service includes the address location associated with the phone number. To receive a Tornado Warning Notification, YOU MUST VOLUNTARILY REGISTER.
- If there is a significant public health or safety event placing residents or areas of Franklin at risk, a notification can be sent to the affected geographic area using the numbers in the 911 database. This is only done in the event of significant emergencies, and the City has established internal protocols to avoid unnecessary notifications. You do not need to register to receive such notifications.
- The registration page offers certain “groups” that an individual can register for if they want to receive special notifications related to this specific topic. The City refers to these as "opt-in" groups. Registration for these groups is completely voluntary.
- It is possible that there may be the VERY RARE need to run a system test that might require sending a message out to subscribers. Such test messages would only occur between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. if they occurred.
9. What are the special "Opt-in" groups?
You must voluntarily register to receive notification of a Tornado Warning. Currently, there are two additional voluntary, “opt-in,” notification groups. Each is discussed briefly below.
You may sign up to receive "Notification of a temporary or emergency change to the regular solid waste and recycling pick-up schedule". Certain severe whether events have caused cancellation of a day’s pick-up schedule. Such a cancellation typically delays by one day the garbage pick-up for that day and pick-ups for the remaining days of the week are also delayed one day. If you want notification of when such a cancellation and delay occurs, select this group when you register. This notice is only sent out between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
You may sign up to receive “Notification of a Declaration of Snow Emergency.” Declaration of a snow emergency expands the on-street parking restrictions. Some people who routinely park on the City streets may want notification of any such declaration. If you want notification of Snow Emergency Declarations, select this group when you register. This notice is only sent out between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
You may sign up to receive "Notification of City Road Closures and Local Paving or Construction Projects.” This category will allow the City’s Department of Public Works to provide you notification of a street or utility project that may impact one of your neighborhood roads or nearby arterials. This is a convenience that will help individuals be informed about what is happening in their local area. These notices will only be sent out between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
10. I do not have Internet access, how can I sign up to get Franklin Notifications' voice messages to my phones?
You may call 414-858-1100, and we can help you register. The Library also offers Internet access as one of their services. The Library is located at 9151 West Loomis Road.
11. Does the City sell the phone numbers? Will registering for this system cause me to get more marketing calls or spam e-mails?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Your registration information is private and will not be actively marketed by the City. Neither the City nor the third party provider will sell the registered phone numbers or e-mail addresses to any other vendor or service. Please also read the answer to FAQ Number 12.
12. Does registering for the Franklin Notification System create a public record such that someone can request my name and contact information through the open records laws?
The City has determined that all information relative to registration for notifications of tornado warnings is not a public record and the City cannot be required to release said information, such as names, phone numbers, or email addresses, etc. Records related to the other, non-emergency public safety categories of registration, such as garbage pick-up and road closures, could be subject to a public records request, just as building permit information, assessing data, and property ownership records are currently public records open to public scrutiny under the laws of the State of Wisconsin. Therefore, an individual can participate in the important public safety feature – Tornado Warning Notification – without fear of their registration information being distributed or available under open records laws.
13. How do I unsubscribe? I do not want to receive notification messages anymore.
At any time, you can simply return to the registration page via the City’s website to unsubscribe. Click “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page. The system will then ask you for a phone number or e-mail address to unsubscribe. Enter the phone number or e-mail address you wish to unsubscribe and hit “unsubscribe”.
14. How do I update my information if my e-mail address, cell phone number, or other information has changed?
If your contact information has changed, follow the instructions above to unsubscribe the information that has changed. You must then register again with your new contact information.
15. How do I switch a phone number from receiving a text message to receiving a voice call or vice versa?
This is the same as changing contact information. You must follow the instructions above to unsubscribe the phone number and then you must re-register the number requesting the alternate notification method.
16. How do I switch a phone number from being part of an "opt-in" group for which I previously registered?
This is the same as changing contact information. You must follow the instructions above to unsubscribe the phone number and then you must re-register the number selecting the groups in which you want to remain. DON’T FORGET TO RE-CLICK THE TORNADO WARNING GROUP!
17. Exactly what phones will be able to receive these voice notification calls?
All voluntarily registered cellular phones, including private numbers.
All registered landline phones and landline phones in the 911 database, including unlisted numbers.
All voluntarily registered VOIP phones, including unlisted numbers.
18. What phone number will show up on my caller ID?
The call will be shown as coming from 414-427-7688. The City recommends saving this number in your cell phone and assigning it the name “Franklin Notifications”. By doing so you won’t disregard a call because you don’t recognize the number. This is just a phone system number, however, so you will not get a person if you call the number back.
19. Can the City use the 911 database to have the Notification System call me on unimportant matters?
NO. Regulations exist that limit our ability to send calls to numbers in this database unless it is a public health and safety issue, as determined by the City.
20. Will the Notification System work if there is a power failure?
Generally Yes. The Tornado Warning system, for example, is automated and occurs between the National Weather Service and the third party provider, Inspiron Logistics. Inspiron Logistics maintains multiple call centers across the nation so if one goes down, the service is still maintained. As such, the Tornado Warning notification is very dependable.
All other notifications are partially dependent upon computer systems functioning at the City Hall and/or Police Department. The City does maintain generators and backup power supplies that help reduce the potential for the system to be inaccessible. Also, it is possible for our Internet provider to have system issues that could prohibit the City's access to the Notification System, but even in this event the City can contact the company directly and have notifications sent. Similarily, each resident's phone, e-mail, and text message systems are subject to failure due to emergencies and disasters. Therefore, it is possible for the system to be unavailable at times, but backup systems are in place that make the system very dependable overall.
21. Will all cellular phone carriers deliver Franklin Notification messages?
Yes, our City service provider works with all major cellular phone providers and is simply placing a call to your cell phone as would any other person. As with all cell phone calls, signal strength and other issues with your carrier could impact delivery of the message to your phone. Text messages, if selected as an option, will be sent to your carrier for delivery to your phone. Each carrier establishes its own protocols for delivery of text messages, so it is possible for text messages to be delayed.
22. Will I receive ads or Spam on my phone?
No. Inspiron Logistics, the company behind the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) does not tolerate spam text or e-mail messages. Inspiron Logistics maintains an anti-spam policy as part of the compliance to operate with Tier 1 provisioning with all of the major North American carriers. Tier 1 provisioning is only granted to top emergency officials and the WENS system (Inspiron Logistics product name). This means that when the mobile networks are completely congested, the only messages allowed to go through are those with Tier 1 provisioning as a matter of priority.
23. I don't use text messages. Can I receive Franklin Notifications by e-mail?
Yes. When you sign up online, fill in your e-mail address in the proper field. You will be sent your emergency notification through the e-mail address that you registered.
24. Can I register to receive just an e-mail?
Yes, but this is not recommended. You do not need to register a telephone number or address to receive e-mail notifications in the "opt-in" categories or groups, however, if the City uses the mapping feature to send out the message to only a portion of the City, you will not get the message without a property address linked to the e-mail address. AN ADDRESS MUST BE ENTERED TO RECEIVE TORNADO WARNING NOTIFICATIONS.
25. Can I register a phone number outside of Franklin?
Yes. For example, a business owner in Franklin may list their Franklin business address but list a home phone number in Kenosha if they wish to be notified of a Tornado Warning or other significant event that puts their business location at risk. Registration works the same when you list a phone number outside of Franklin.
26. Can I register an address outside of Franklin?
The system is not intended to include addresses outside of Franklin. The mapping technology that reads addresses focuses on Franklin addresses. Service is not intended nor guaranteed for addresses outside of Franklin.
27. Why does the Franklin Notification System send text messages?
Text messages are simply an option in today’s society. Many people prefer to receive text messages as compared to voice messages. The system does limit text messages to fewer characters, so the notification provided may be briefer or more limited than a voice message. Each person is encouraged to sign up for the method or methods that will most likely ensure they receive the message. Note that you can enter the same cell number in twice and have it receive both a voice and text message.
28. After I received a voice message notification the system asked me to "Press 1 to acknowledge receipt". Do I have to press 1?
No, but we hope you do! Acknowledging receipt of the message doesn’t impact your service or mean you will receive more calls later. It simply allows the City to track the use and effectiveness of the system. Acknowledging the call enables the City to see how many calls are going through and if the calls are being listened to. The information we get from evaluating the system may enable us to improve the system.
29. How can the system call everyone in Franklin at once?
It doesn’t call everyone at once because the individual local phone carriers can’t handle that many calls at once. The system is set up to place around 300 calls at a time. This number will be evaluated overtime as we monitor the capacity of the phone companies.
30. Will the City of Franklin periodically test this system?
Yes, tests are possible. The City will monitor the results of each notification issued and determine if there is a need to test the system to verify subscriptions to this system and to ensure the system is working properly. The City will avoid unnecessary tests, but will perform tests if determined that it is necessary for the integrity of the system. Such test messages would only occur between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. if they occurred.
31. Can I unregister from receiving notifications of significant public safety hazards or events that are issued using the 911 database?
Yes, the City does allow an individual to be removed from the system entirely but strongly discourages any individual from taking this option. Such notifications are very rare but can be vital to ensuring your safety. For example, notifications cover events such as a need to boil your water due to a problem with the water system, a need to evacuate due to a chemical spill or other event, Emergency Declarations, or prisoner escapes. Such events almost never occur, but preparation and NOTIFICATION is the key to avoiding significant loss or tragedy. The City, therefore, strongly encourages individuals NOT to remove their name from the Notification Systems copy of the 911 database.