Greater Harris County 9-1-1 in Major New Step to Insure Public Safety

HOUSTON, June 25, 2013 - New, “next generation” technology can now send localized emergency alerts to cell and Internet phones, but only if residents register their phones online at www.911.org. Residents who rely on cell or Internet phones for communication, will not be contacted if a local emergency occurs unless they register—currently only landline (home or work) phones are in the 9-1-1 alerting system. The alerting service is free. Only phone owners’ standard talk and text charges will apply if and when they receive an emergency notification.

All Houston-area media are urged to make this important announcement immediately and to continue it for as long as possible. GHC will provide additional information and graphics upon request.

Registration is Quick, Easy, and Free.

Those who want to receive alerts can visit 911.org and click the sign up button (left). They will be guided through the process to complete the form, and will be offered answers to “frequently asked questions.”

Information needed to register: name, address (must be within GHC service area), phone number, email address. Information is used only by public safety agencies to alert residents.

How the Service Works

Examples of “localized” emergencies include hazardous material spills, dangerous persons in the area, missing persons, or life-threatening weather.

This service is provided by GHC 9-1-1 to all public safety agencies (fire, police) within the jurisdictions in the GHC service area.

(http://www.911.org/participatinjursidictions.asp) The agencies/jurisdictions decide when to send an alert and also decide which people in their service areas need to know about the emergency. Residents will not receive an alert if they are not in the affected area. The service is a supplement to (not a replacement for) public safety warnings and information conveyed over TV, radio and other services.

“It is important to have every tool in place to reach our community in the event of local emergency,” said GHC 9-1-1 Director Lavergne Schwender. “GHC 9-1-1 wants to ensure that our jurisdictions have the ability to contact residents on whatever type of phone they are using.”

Registration website screen shots, alert icon and video demo can be found at: http://www.911.org/Media_Kit.html

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