Snow Emergency Phone Alert: Frequently Asked Questions
Snow Emergency Phone Alerts are one of the many ways the City of Minneapolis tries to make the public aware that a Snow Emergency has been declared. This provides for better plowing and helps people avoid a ticket and tow. When a Snow Emergency is declared, an automated telephone calling campaign is started that delivers a pre-recorded voice message alerting folks of a Snow Emergency. That means that on the day the City declares a Snow Emergency, you may receive a short, pre-recorded voice message if you have a listed residential telephone number in Minneapolis.
The City contracts with a company that specializes in community notification services. Telephone lists containing most residential numbers are compiled and voice messages are prerecorded. Once activated, the system has the capability to place thousands of automated telephone calls per hour. If you have caller identification, the phone number displayed will be (612) 348-7669 (which is the Minneapolis Snow Emergency Hotline: (612) 348-SNOW) and may also be identified as "MPLS SNOW EMERG."
A Snow Emergency Phone Alert calling campaign will be started once a Snow Emergency is declared (before 6 p.m. on any given day) and can continue until 9 p.m. on that day (when Snow Emergency parking rules go into place). The system will reach as many telephone numbers registered in the system as possible during that time, but the City of Minneapolis cannot guarantee that you will receive a telephone call alerting you of the Snow Emergency.
Snow Emergency Phone Alerts are one of the ways used to alert residents that a Snow Emergency has been declared, but the City cannot guarantee that you will receive a telephone call. It's important that people continue to check the City's website or call (612) 348-SNOW whenever snow falls and you think the City might declare a Snow Emergency. Everybody is still responsible for following Snow Emergency parking rules, even if they do not receive a telephone alert.
You can also sign up to receive an automatic e-mail when the City declares a Snow Emergency.
What if I’m on the phone or no one answers the telephone when the Snow Emergency Phone Alert system calls?
Because we are trying to make some 130,000 calls, your number will usually only be called once. If you have voice mail, the Snow Emergency Phone Alert Service will begin playing its 30-second message when your voice mail system picks up. It is possible that your system may not receive the Snow Emergency message in its entirety depending on the length of your voice mail greeting. If so, you may only hear the last part of the message. If time permits after the initial calling campaign is completed, the system may be set to retry unanswered and busy calls. However, no calls will be made after 9 p.m.
If you have a listed residential telephone number in Minneapolis then you are probably already listed in our system. But if you never seem to be called and would like to add your number, update your phone information.
If you'd like a cell phone, direct work line, or other phone number added to our list, you may register those numbers with the system. To register, enter your contact information and be sure to select "Add."
Phone numbers submitted for the service may be verified prior to being registered and included in the calling list. Therefore, you may not get a call if you submit your number within a few days of a Snow Emergency.
If you'd like to remove your phone number from this service, enter your contact information, and be sure to select "Remove."
Once you submit a "do not call" request, you will never be called unless you re-register that number.
It is estimated that each Snow Emergency calling campaign costs about $10,000. This factors in ongoing administrative costs, as well as the charges for connected calls during a calling campaign.
Last updated Sep. 23, 2013