CENS (also referred to as Reverse 9-1-1) is the Community Emergency Notification System. The system is designed to rapidly notify a pre-defined area of an emergency by sending a recorded message through the telephone system. CENS can be activated for many different situations including missing endangered children or adults, hazardous chemical situations, and emergencies that require notifying citizens to stay indoors for serious threats.
When a CENS launch is requested, the communications center operator utilizes a map to draw a designated area (typically a radius from the incident location) where the recorded message is to be sent. The system then utilizes the 9-1-1 database to extract phone numbers for the corresponding addresses within that designated area. The operator will record or program the automated message, providing detailed information about the nature of the situation. The system will then automatically contact all phone numbers within the designated area and transmit the message.
The database typically holds information for serviced landlines. Cell phones or voice over IP (VoIP) phones can be registered to receive emergency notifications as well.
Register your phone at http://www.maricopa.gov/Emerg_Mgt/CENS.aspx or at www.911alertsyou.com or by phone at (602) 273-1411.
For more information, visit the CENS page on our website.