Free emergency notification and text to 9-1-1 available in Larimer County

By Amber McIver –Traywick

The Surveyor

There is a fast and efficient way to make sure you are notified when there is an emergency situation in and around Berthoud, and it’s provided by the Larimer County Emergency Telephone Authority (LETA) which is the 9-1-1 governing authority in Larimer County. The system allows visitors and residents to receive notifications via cell, work or home phone, text message and email when imminent threats to life and property are taking place.

A great feature of the program is the ability to register more than one device; so for example, the alert would come to both your home phone and your cell phone if you include both devices when you register. The threats you may be notified about include wildfires, floods, gas leaks, evacuation alerts, and critical police activity as well as missing, endangered children and adults.

The system works by receiving data from the 9-1-1 database and then automatically sending out alerts based on that information. Severe weather alerts are also sent out courtesy of the National Weather Service.

To sign up for the service visit www.leta911.org or call LETA at (970) 962-2170 and you will be assisted with the sign-up process. According to the website, the personal information you provide is only used for emergency purposes and it will never be shared with any third parties. The sign-up process is easy and takes less than five minutes. You are able to select what type of alerts you would like to receive, including community-specific notifications, and for weather alerts you can set limits on the time of day the alerts come through.

If you move or need to make any changes to your contact information it’s easy to update this info on the website by accessing your account and preferences.

If you simply want the alerts to come to your cell phone only, the sign-up process is even less complicated. Simply text “GO LETA” to 888777 and that device will automatically be registered for the Larimer Emergency Connect program. You should soon after receive a welcome message that will confirm your registration. It’s important to note signing up by this method will not include weather alerts or community-specific alerts but will include wildfire, flood, evacuations, missing persons, and other emergencies. To opt out of the messages reply “STOP” and the alerts will be discontinued. Alerts can be received in Spanish by replying “ESP” to the initial welcome message you receive after registering.

In addition to emergency alerts, LETA now offers Text to 9-1-1 through all of its dispatch centers in Larimer County. This option can be incredibly helpful to those who are hard of hearing, deaf, speech-impaired or individuals in situations where making a voice call could increase the danger to themselves or others.  The motto of the program is “Call if you can, text if you must,” and LETA strongly encourages individuals to use this method only if you are unable to make a voice call. Currently all four major cell-phone carriers: Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to offer this service for customers with text or data plans. The service is not compatible with free texting applications.

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