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The Winthrop Harbor Notification
System is a no-charge program that is available to all residents,
property owners and businesses with a street address within the
Village. What follows are some frequently asked questions about
the system and how it works;
the Blackboard Connect service?
Blackboard Connect is the service that allows authorized civic
leaders to create and rapidly disseminate time-sensitive messages
to every telephone number stored in the notification database.
With this Notification System, authorized users can send thousands
of messages in minutes. Only authorized officials are allowed
access to the system for sending messages.
the service work?
Authorized officials compose and record a voice and text message.
That message is then delivered to individual telephones, cell
phones, and text-receiving devices in the notification database.
of messages will be sent using the service?
Any message regarding the safety or welfare of our community
could be disseminated using the Notification System. Examples
include hazardous traffic or road conditions, water boil orders,
and any other situation that could impact the safety, property,
or welfare of our citizens.
Notification System replace other systems that have been used
to provide time-sensitive information to residents?
This system is a significant enhancement to existing means of
communication and is supplemental to, not a replacement for,
the traditional systems you have used in the past (i.e. TV, Radio,
Web site, etc.).
Is my telephone
number included in the notification database?
It is our intention and hope that every residence and commercial
facility in our community be included in the notification database.
For businesses, we only store one main phone number. For residents,
we may have more than one number that belongs to you in the database.
Additionally, you may request to have a secondary number be entered
into our database for priority calling.
May I use
a cell phone as my notification database listing?
Yes, we can accept cell phones as secondary phone numbers in
the database and encourage you to request that your number be
included. As a Winthrop Harbor resident, you may click here
to add your cell phone number and/or e-mail address.
are being taken to protect personal information?
Blackboard Connect takes security and privacy concerns very seriously
and does not sell, trade, lease or loan any data about our residents
to any third party. From a technical perspective, they utilize
multiple physical and virtual layers of firewalls to maintain
data security. Blackboard Connect only utilizes secure transmissions
with its systems. No confidential information is ever transmitted
between Blackboard Connect and its customers using e-mail or
FTP, but rather always utilizes either a VPN tunnel or SSL. Data
is hosted in state-of-the-art facilities which require photo
identification, thumb-print recognition, keyed access, and are
manned 24/7 with full-security personnel. All data is encrypted
prior to being placed on tape for offsite storage. Blackboard
Connect also retains an external, independent security firm to
perform annual security audits.
be a way to identify incoming calls that are made by the village
using the system?
The caller-ID number for Winthrop Harbor calls generated by the
Notification System is (847)-872-2175. In addition, every message
we send out will begin with the same standard announcement: "Hello,
this is the Village of Winthrop Harbor calling with an important
message." The message content will follow this standard
Notification System work if I have a call screening system on
There are several varieties of call screening devices that use
differing protocols for screening. In general, the system has
been found to work with these devices; but some may require some
type of pre-programming to allow our village's telephone number
to pass through. (the number to allow is 847-872-2175). We may
conduct periodic tests to assure that messages are being delivered
to numbers in the notification database.
If I am
a non-resident home or condominium owner, what phone should be
listed in the notification database?
For non-residents or owners who reside out of our village, you
may provide an additional phone number to be included in our
database to contact during certain situations. In general, calls
are sent to the primary number only, but we also have the ability
to call multiple numbers for each resident or business when requested
by the resident or business. You may add, edit or delete your
telephone numbers and email addresses by using the links at the
top of this page.
If I have
provided more than one phone number, when will they be called?
Should a situation arise that requires us to contact you at multiple
phone numbers, we can activate the system to place a simultaneous
call to all of your numbers. In most cases, we will be sending
calls only to one phone number (your primary number in the database).
phone or my second listing is a cell phone with a non-local area
code. Will the Blackboard Connect service call numbers outside
Yes. The area code does not impact whether or not a call is made.
the Notification System respond to busy signals or no-answer
For busy signals, the call will be repeated several times in
an attempt to reach you. The same is true for No-answer and Call-waiting.
If a message recorder answers the phone, our message will be
left on the answering device. If, after several attempts the
call does not successfully go through, the system will stop attempting
I am receiving
village notification calls at my fax or my secondary phone line.
Can I switch to have the system call my primary phone number?
Yes. Use the Edit link at top of this page. .
I was not
able to listen to the entire call. Is there a way to repeat the
Yes, at the end of the message playback, simply press the star
(*) key on your telephone to have it repeated in its entirety.
the phone but the "Hello" message repeats. It then
calls back, and the same thing happens again. How can I hear
the entire message?
Repeating or looping of messages happens when the system detects
excessive noise in the background. Loud radio/television volumes,
people talking, or busy traffic noise, can cause this. When you
receive the next call, say "hello" once and turn down
the volume of your radio/television or press the mute button
on your telephone to allow full message delivery.
I do not
have an answering machine and I see on my caller-ID that a Notification
System call was attempted. How can I hear the message?
You may listen to any message that has been sent to your number
by calling toll-free 877-Replay-1 (877-737-5291). Follow the prompts
to listen to the latest message, or any previous message that
has been received at your number.
one or more questions that were not answered here. Who should
Please call Village Hall at (847) 872-3846 and we will be happy
to answer your questions.
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