Columbia Alert Network
What is CAN and how does CAN work?
Upon the request of public safety and emergency response agencies based in Columbia County, Columbia 9-1-1 dispatchers activate a high speed telephone dialing service to notify citizens and businesses of important information. This dialing service is called “C.A.N.” which stands for Columbia Alert Network. Notifications are delivered to targeted geographic areas by a telephone call and/or a text message in which a recorded message is delivered. The system was initiated by the Columbia Emergency Planning Association (CEPA) in 2000. CEPA is a partnership organization of industry, public safety and local governments in Columbia County for the purpose of emergency preparedness and planning.
Why might I receive a call?
Notification calls are made based upon the emergency and geographic area being affected. Calls may be made for situations such as: shelter in place, boil water advisory, be on the lookout for a crime suspect, search and rescue, severe weather advisory, situation resolved, etc.
What should I do when I'm called?
Listen carefully to the message. CAN will play/deliver a message that was prepared by one of your local officials or a 9-1-1 dispatcher. The message will give you directions on what you should do or where to get more information. Messages are designed to contact a specific geographic area based upon the emergency. Only call 9-1-1 if you have an actual emergency, not to obtain additional details.
What if my number is unlisted or if I have a TTY/TDD machine?
Our data base is comprised of published, non published and unlisted landline numbers. Landline numbers are updated regularly. TTY and TDD numbers are included in our data base.
Cell Phones, VoIP, and Email
Many people use cellular phones, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, or email as their primary phone communication and do not have landline telephone service at all. You may register or update your cell or alternate phone number and email address in the “C.A.N.” system. Do not use the registry for landline phones as they are already in the data base.
By clicking the link below you will be directed to our CAN registry page. We strongly recommend that you create an account. If you have a new number, you can access your account through this link to update your contact information. Your registry contact information will immediately be incorporated into the notification data base. It is the responsibility of the registrant to assure that registry contact information is kept up to date.