Government mistrust hampering reverse 911 efforts in Ravalli County

Map of Montana highlighting Ravalli County
Image via Wikipedia

The good people of Ravalli County don’t much like “Big Brother,” which could be a problem should a widespread emergency strike the area.

The county’s emergency management people are trying to get residents to sign up for a reverse-911 system that would sent alerts to cell phones in the case of an emergency.

The Associated Press reports that only about 250 out of the county’s 40,000 residents have signed up for the program, which county officials say could save lives and property.

County dispatchers say that residents refuse to give their numbers because they are concerned about receiving marketing calls and because they are worried about “government intervention,” the AP reports.

The reverse 911 system has a particular urgency since many people are moving away from land lines to cell phones. A Ravalli County official told the AP that 80 percent of the 911 calls it receives are from cell phones.