Information & Tips

Tips to Remember When Calling 9-1-1:

Attempt to stay calm when you are talking to 9-1-1 dispatchers. Take a deep breath. Dispatchers will verify your address and phone number. Listen to and answer each question. Do not hang up after dialing 9-1-1 until the dispatchers tell you to do so (even if you did not mean to dial 9-1-1).

When you report and emergency, the dispatcher will ask you at least five basic questions:

  • Where is this happening?
  • What is happening?
  • When did this happen?
  • Who is involved?
  • How can we help you?

What information do I need to give a good description?:
In many 9-1-1 emergencies, dispatchers will ask you to describe the people and/or vehicles involved in the emergency.

When describing individuals, start at the top of the head and work your way down the individuals body.

Questions dispatchers will ask are:

  • What is the presumed race and sex of he subject?
  • What was the presumed height and weight of the subject?
  • What is the presumed hair color?
  • What was the subject(s) wearing, (Start from top of head and go down the body)?
  • Did the subject(s) have a moustache, beard, accent, limp, glasses, or anything unusual that might make the subject(s) stand out? Were weapons seen?

When describing a vehicle the dispatcher will ask for the following information:

  • Color of the Vehicle
  • Year of the Vehicle
  • Make of the Vehicle
  • Body Style (2 door/4 door, etc.)
  • Additional description (dents, lights out, direction of travel, etc.)
  • License plate on the Vehicle

Can I Call 9-1-1 if I use a T.D.D.?:
Yes, your 911 Center is equipped with TDD/TTY equipment. Communications professionals receive extensive training in handling emergency situations utilizing this special equipment.

Can someone call 9-1-1 who does not speak English?:
Yes, your 911 Center subscribes to a telephone translation service providing access to interpreters who speak more than 140 languages and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for emergency communications services with non-English speaking callers.

In the Spotlight

Hope 4 Iowa

The HOPE 4 IOWA Crisis Call Line connects individuals in crisis to a helping hand and the resources to address and improve mental wellness. Available 24/7. For more information visit our website here.








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Pottawattamie County Emergency Notification System

Pottawattamie Alert is the countywide emergency notification system serving all residents within Pottawattamie County and its communities.

Part of the Alert Iowa System, Pottawattamie Alert is a high-speed notification and weather warning service. This no-charge service is available to businesses and residents of Pottawattamie County and its Communities that allows public officials to warn citizens of pending emergencies, critical public information during disasters, recommended protective actions, and provides automated severe weather warnings tailored to your preferences. The system can also be used to provide other important information to communities.