Frequently Asked Questions

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Citizens Alert: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Citizens Alert?

This service allows you to sign up to receive notifications via phone calls, text messaging, email and more. You can choose to receive notifications about events that may affect your home, parents' home, your workplace, your child's school and other places, as long as those locations are within Montgomery County.

When will it be used?

This system will be used to notify you about imminent threats to health and safety. Public safety officials will send notifications regarding severe weather, flooding, water outages, road closures, and critical police activity. Weather alerts may also be sent automatically, based on geographic locations you provide. The system will also be used to send email about events, recreation opportunities, and trash collection and more in the Town of Blacksburg.

I don't want alerts late at night. Is that possible?

Weather notices are automated and are sent when the National Weather Service sends an alert, regardless of the time of day. When signing up for weather alerts, be sure to select "do not disturb" times. During the times you select, the system will not send you a notification. The exceptions are a tornado warning (new warnings and "all clear" notices) or flash flood warning (new warnings) in which case the system will ignore "do not disturb" times.

Will I still receive emergency notifications if I don't sign up?

If you don't sign up, you will receive notifications on your landline home phone but nowhere else.

I don't have a personal computer. Where can I go to sign up? 

Most public libraries in the area provide free access to computers connected to the internet.

Do I need a smartphone in order to receive alerts? 

No, you do not need a smartphone to receive text alerts. Check with your provider, however, on possible fees and charges associated with text messaging. 

What if my phone number or email address changes?

If your contact information changes, you must go to your profile and update your information to continue receiving alerts via those contact methods.

Will my contact information be shared with others?

No, the information you provide will be used primarily for emergency purposes. We will not give or sell your contact or location information to any vendor or other organization.

For more information, contact the Community Relations Office at cro@blacksburg.gov or 540-443-1090.