Help with 'snow-hotline' setup

I am relatively new to Asterisk and FreePBX. I have a 25 user system in production and it is operating perfectly. Here is my opportunity:

We operate in the ‘not-so-warm’ climate and frequently shutdown operations due to inclimate weather conditions. I would like to implement what I would call a ‘snow-hotline’, a DID number which employees could call from home to determine if the office is open and should they stay home or come to work.

1- This extension should not have a physical telephone association.
2- A manager should dial in from home to record a message indicating specifics of the closure and when the office will reopen.
3- I would like to make it easy for the manager, eg, press 1 for the default ‘open’ greeting and press 2 to record a ‘closed’ greeting.

I am looking for ideas as to the best way to do this in FreePBX. Any thoughts/suggestions regarding the mechanics of setting this up as well as enhancements would be greatly appreciated!

Thanx in advance!

Maybe you could use the day night mode for this.

I would do this with announcements. Set up an announcement for business as usual and another one for inclement weather. Set up an inbound route for the weather DID to point to the fair weather announcement. Give the managers a DISA account. Then, they can change between the fair and foul weather announcements by dialing in and using DISA.

I take the easy way out and just make it an extension without a phone and use the voicemailbox for the greetings.
That way you can set the standard ‘unavailable’ message for you business as usual message and the temp greeting for any inclement weather.

Since they will be using voicemail already, this has the added benefit that it is not a whole new set of commands to learn.

Thank you all for the great ideas!

I like the sound of this one! However, I have a few questions:

What is a DISA account?

Does this option allow the managers to change the foul weather announcement to indicate the specifics of the downtime before/when switching to it?


DISA is a module in FreePBX. When you set it up, you can give internal dial tone to an external user. If you set up the 2 announcements ahead of time, the manager could call into the DISA, get internal dial tone and switch between the announcements by dialing a code. I like the idea of using a voicemail box too.