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

The Alert Iowa system serves all residents within Pottawattamie County and it's Communities.

The Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency has implemented The Alert Iowa system, a high-speed notification solution and Weather Warning service. This no-charge service is available to businesses.

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