Smart911 - Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to question frequently asked about Smart911.

Page updated on Sep 21, 2017 at 10:11 AM
  1. How does Smart911 work?
  2. Does the addition of the Smart911 service affect emergency services for those who do not choose to participate?
  3. What is a safety profile?
  4. What kind of information can I list in my safety profile?
  5. Who should create a safety profile?
  6. How can Smart911 benefit wireless phone users?
  7. How long does it take to create a safety profile?
  8. How do I know if my safety profile was successfully created?
  9. Is there a cost to sign up for the Smart911 service?
  10. Can I include my family members?
  11. What if English is not my primary language?
  12. How can Smart911 help when I am away from home?
  13. Once I've signed up, do I need to do anything else?
  14. Is my information secure?

 


How does Smart911 work?
The free Smart911 service allows you to create profiles with contact information such as home, work and mobile phone numbers, along with additional details you feel 9-1-1 call takers may need to assist you during an emergency. With Smart911, any time you make an emergency call from a phone registered with your safety profile, the 9-1-1 system recognizes your phone number and automatically displays your profile on the screen of the call taker who receives your call.


Does the addition of the Smart911 service affect emergency services for those who do not choose to participate?
Participation in the Smart911 service will not change the level of emergency 9-1-1 service provided to residents, businesses, and visitors; the Smart911 service allows users to submit information that they believe would be helpful to dispatchers and first responders in the event of an emergency.


What is a safety profile?
A safety profile is a set of information about an individual, or a household that is contained within one account. Information can include details about all members of the household, all phone numbers (mobile, landline or VOIP) and all addresses, including home, workplace and even vacation home information. Users may also add details about medical conditions, medications, vehicles, emergency contact persons, pets and other information.


What kind of information can I list in my safety profile?
You can include as little or as much information in your profile as you like. This free service is voluntary, so you decide what information you want emergency responders to know about you when you call 9-1-1.


Who should create a safety profile?
Anyone can create a safety profile. Those who are especially encouraged to sign up are people with medical or disability information, or wireless phone users.


How can Smart911 benefit wireless phone users?
Wireless phone users are encouraged to sign up, as wireless phone calls to 9-1-1 only provide a general location of the caller, not an exact address. Adding your home, school and work addresses (including apartment and room numbers) can help responders locate you more easily. However, even if you have a smart profile, it is very important that 9-1-1 callers, particularly those with mobile phones, provide their current locations to dispatchers at the start of each call.


How long does it take to create a safety profile?
Setting up a profile can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much information you wish to provide. You can always go back and update existing information, or add additional information to your profile.


How do I know if my safety profile was successfully created?
When you complete registration, you will be directed to your safety profile dashboard and a message will be sent to you confirming your account, via your choice of email, text message or automated call. The information you provide in your safety profile will not be made available to 9-1-1 answering centers unless you have verified the phone(s) listed in your profile.


Is there a cost to sign up for the Smart911 service?
There is no fee to create or maintain a safety profile.


Can I include my family members?
You are encouraged to create a safety profile that includes everyone in your household. You can also create safety profiles on behalf of elderly parents, those with disabilities, or anyone not comfortable with computers, designating yourself as the emergency contact.


What if English is not my primary language?
You can create a safety profile in multiple languages and specify your primary language. When you enter the Smart911 "Sign Up" portal, click "Select Language" on the upper right hand corner of the screen.  A drop down menu will appear and you may choose your preferred language to create your smart profile.

When your profile displays at the 9-1-1 center, it will be translated back into English. If an interpreter is required, the 9-1-1 dispatcher will be able to see which language you designated as your primary language.


How can Smart911 help when I am away from home?
Your safety profile is portable. If you travel to a community that utilizes the Smart911 service, your information will also be provided to first responders in that area. This is why it's important to include all pertinent phone numbers in your safety profile, including mobile phones, landlines and workplace numbers.


Once I've signed up, do I need to do anything else?
The more up-to-date your information is, the better. The Smart911 service prompts users to verify their information every six months. However, you should update your profile any time there is any change to your information.


Is my information secure?
Yes. Your privacy is important to us. Your information is made available only to 9-1-1 dispatchers and first responders only in the event you call 9-1-1. Your safety profile is non-searchable and your information will only be displayed to 9-1-1 dispatchers for a limited amount of time. In some areas, you can choose to allow Smart911 to share your profile with Emergency Managers as they prepare for and respond to emergencies. If you reside or work in one of these areas, you will be presented with this option.

In addition, your information is stored in geo-redundant databases that are located on opposite sides of the country. In the unlikely event of a database shutdown, the system will automatically transition all of your information to the backup database, resulting in zero impact to your safety profile.

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