Roanoke City Urging People to Sign up for Emergency Notification - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke City Pushing for People to Sign up for Emergency Notifications on Cell Phones

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Not everyone relies on their cell phone for all calls.

Diane Rabb has kept her land line over the years and says, "I use my cell phone probably more than my land line, but at my age I still need a land line so that at night or something if there is an emergency it is right there by my bed."

"We can purchase home phone numbers, but we cannot purchase cell phones," Roanoke City Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Guzo says. "We know that folks are cutting off land lines and their home phones and using cell phones."

"A majority of them are moving away from a land-based home phone service and are moving more toward a wireless device," says Kimberly Zimmerman, Roanoke AT&T store manager.

For people who aren't quite ready to let go of their land-line phone, there is an AT&T wireless home service. It allows people to take the phone set up with them wherever they go. You get to keep that home phone number you have been used to for so long.

But if that home phone number is long gone, you have to sign up through Roanoke City's website to get a text, email, or call about emergencies.

"The program allows us to be very specific on who we target," Guzo says.

More than 90,000 people live in Roanoke, but only 600 people have signed up for emergency cell phone notifications.