A disaster can strike without warning. Whether it is an ice storm or a chemical fire, all communities face risks and hazards that can happen at a moment's notice. For emergency responders and public officials to get the word out in a timely manner is a daunting task. St. Lawrence County Department of Emergency Services announced today they are now taking steps to address this.
The St. Lawrence County 911 Center has partnered with Hyper-Reach Emergency Notification Systems. Hyper-Reach allows 911 to quickly send a message to residents in a specific area informing them of an emergency situation that may require action on their part.
The alerts may be for everything from a simple road closure to a tornado warning.
The system is designed to send thousands of calls or messages simultaneously. It has been successfully used on countless occasions for incidents such as hazardous chemical releases, missing persons, barricaded persons, storm warnings, boil water alerts and much more. The message informs residents of what is occurring and what steps they need to take along with informing them of when the incident is over.
All hard wired telephones in St. Lawrence County are automatically listed to receive these alerts; however, there is no central registry of mobile telephones so individuals need to register them in order to receive alerts. This process also applies to Weather alerts.
Hyper-Reach is an emergency notification system, a way to send your voice, a text message, tty (hearing impaired ), or an alarm message to as many people as you need to reach, either using our website or with just one phone call. "That’s the basic idea," said Russ Bell, Vice President of Asher Group that runs Hyper-Reach, "but Hyper-Reach is far from basic."
While it is extremely easy to use, Hyper-Reach has features such as being able to send messages to TDD devices for people with hearing impairments, being able to call thousands of people in an emergency or pre-schedule a reminder call to go out later; and being able to get positive feedback from people that you call or connect them into a conference bridge.
According to CTIA, a telecommunications provider association, 92% of the population is using some form of mobile device with 36% of households eliminating their hard wire telephone for wireless only.
911 Dispatch Supervisor, Jackie Brown stated “The number of people who are dependant on their mobile telephone is climbing at an amazing rate. Over two/thirds of the calls made to 911 are coming from these devices.”
Many people have foregone having a hard wired home phone at all.
County residents are encouraged to log on to the web site and follow the Hyper-Reach registration link: here. It only takes a minute and the information is kept confidential. Users have the options of receiving an audio message, text message or both along with email or TTY alerts. If a user moves they can use the same method to update their address.
Only by registering their cell phones or wireless devices will they be able to receive these alerts.
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