Google has updated it’s VoIP app, Google Voice, with a warning when a user attempts to send a text message to 9-1-1.
Currently, in the vast majority of the United States, including Lapeer County, there is no way to send a text message to 9-1-1.
There are technical hurdles that need to be overcome and new telephone networks built out, called ESInet’s that are required to make this happen.
Lapeer County 9-1-1 has a new 9-1-1 telephone system capable of receiving SMS and MMS alerts from users, built by microDATA, a TCS Company.
The missing piece is the ESInet which is something the telephone carriers need to build in order to connect emergency callers, via SMS/MMS, to 9-1-1. In our area of Michigan, AT&T is the emergency telephone provider and would need to build out this ESInet.
If you are using Google Voice either on your iOS device or Android device, please be aware that you will not be able to send a text message to 9-1-1 should you have an emergency.
Please, always use the regular telephone service and dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- Send free text messages to US phones and make international calls at very low rates.
- Access your voicemail messages with transcription.
- Make calls with your Google Voice number.
- A Google Voice account is required to use this app (sign up for free at google.com/voice).
- Google Voice is currently only available in the US.
- When using Google Voice for iPhone, both domestic and international calls are placed through a US-based Google Voice access number, and will use the standard minutes from your cell phone plan.
Yesterday evening the Clifford Village Council unanimously approved the construction of a fire/EMS paging tower on Village property and advised that construction could begin immediately.
However, we still need to wait on several federal environmental studies to conclude in the next couple of weeks as well as FCC license modifications.
Motorola will begin ordering the steel and associated equipment for the site and electronics which shouldn’t take too long to come in.
This paging tower will bring much needed coverage to the northernmost portions of the county. We will have the antenna’s pointing in a directional pattern toward the south to cover Clifford, Burlington Township and parts of Rich and North Branch Township’s.
By increasing the coverage footprint in these area’s, the fire departments, medical first responders and Lapeer County EMS ambulances will better be able to receive their calls for service from dispatch. In turn they will be able to get a better response in terms of personnel and timeliness.
Last week the shelter and generator that we have been using in North Branch since 1996 was lifted and moved to our new paging location in Columbiaville. We’ve moved away from the North Branch site to avoid paying continuing rental fees to American Tower Corporation. This site will also bring improved coverage to the Columbiaville and Otter Lake areas for EMS and fire paging.
The next steps for the Columbiaville site are to bring electricity to the site, install the equipment and then provide connectivity back to the main system. At this time, it is undetermined how long it will take to get connectivity as we are still working out those details.
Below is an 18 minute video cut of the lifting and setting of the shelter and generator.
This week—April 14-20, 2013—is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. It is designated as a time when citizens can thank public safety men and women who respond to emergency calls and dispatch emergency professionals and equipment during times of crisis. Americans can show gratitude to 9-1-1 calltakers, dispatchers, technicians that maintain radio and emergency phone systems, communications staff trainers, communications center personnel, and other public safety telecommunications staff across the country who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to help you during emergencies.
Severe Weather Awareness Week – Tip #3
- Purchase a NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio with S.A.M.E. (specific area message encoding) capabilities. This feature allows you to enter only those counties you want to get weather alerts for. Some local stores carry these radios. You can also order them online. They range in price from $35 – $50 depending on the additional features you want (i.e. AM/FM radio, etc.). You can also research them prior to your purchase by going on to YouTube. These devices work like an AM/FM radio…if you get it home and cannot find a channel were you hear a computerized weather person speaking, then you may need a different radio or an external antenna. Don’t hesitate to call the Lapeer County Emergency Management Office at 810-667-0242 prior to purchasing one and we will be glad to help you.
- Another great source for early warning notifications are smartphone applications. Here are just a few examples (in no particular order):http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/tornado-app
http://www.abc12.com/weather (browse the page until you find an option that says “download weather alert app to your phone”.)
http://www.wnem.com/weather (browse the page until you find an option that says “download weather alert app to your phone”.)
http://www.minbcnews.com/weather (browse the page until you find an option that says “download weather alert app to your phone”.)
- Tornado sirens. These are an “outdoor” warning device. If you cannot hear your community’s tornado siren on the first Saturday of each month (April – October) at 1:00pm, then please consider purchasing a weather radio.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact the Lapeer County Emergency Management Office at 810-667-0242.
Stay safe and stay dry!
Severe Weather Awareness Week – Tip #2
Filling Sandbags, Stacking Sandbags & Building A Levee
Should you need to protect your home from flood waters, purchasing sandbags is the most cost effective method, but you can also purchase self-inflating sand bags – they look like a flat pillow and when they come in contact with water, they expand absorbing almost 40lbs of water. You build a levee with them just as you would with sandbags (without all the physical strains). It’s a bit more expensive, but an option for a person that may not be physically fit to fill sandbags.
Sandbag filling Procedures PDF
As you will read on page 3 – item #1, there are a lot of great video resources on YouTube relating to this as well.
If you have any questions, or need additional information on something, please don’t hesitate to contact the Lapeer County Emergency Management Office at 810-667-0242.
Severe Weather Awareness Week – Tip #1
Along with the arrival of green grass and beautiful flowers, unfortunately also comes the chance for severe weather.
That is why the State of Michigan has declared April 7th through the 13th Michigan Severe Weather Awareness Week.
Attached are a few items from the American Red Cross that will help you get started on your planning.
Safe and Well Fact Sheet
Lapeer County Central Dispatch Promoting 9-1-1 Awareness and Education in April
Lapeer, MI – April is National 9-1-1 Education Month, and the National 9-1-1 Education
Coalition (the Coalition) is encouraging public safety officials, schools, government officials, and industry leaders to engage in this national effort to educate the general public about the importance and appropriate use of 9-1-1 services. To support this endeavor, the Coalition has launched the 9-1-1: The Number to Know awareness campaign to allow these entities to speak together with one voice while supporting specific 9-1-1 messages being promoted in the local community.
This month-long campaign is designed to help citizens of all ages recognize the importance of 9-1-1 and their role when calling 9-1-1.
Many groups, including the United States Congress and members of the Coalition, also recognize April as National 9-1-1 Education month and encourage the media, the 9-1-1 community, the wireless industry, and public information providers to engage in 9-1-1 awareness and education activities this month. The Coalition has created a variety of resources for 9-1-1 professionals, public educators, and citizens on its 9-1-1: The Number to Know website, www.know911.org.
The National 9-1-1 Education Coalition is a volunteer group of public safety, education and industry stakeholders, formed to support the nationwide coordinated promotion of National 9-1-1 Education Month and National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Members of the Coalition are represented by the following organizations: E9-1-1 Institute, 9-1-1 for Kids®, 911 Industry Alliance, Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), CTIA—The Wireless Association®, National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED), National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA), and National Emergency Number Association (NENA). For more information about the Coalition, visit www.ng911institute.org.
Community Response Guidelines
*Active Shooter Incident*
The following guidelines are intended to reduce your personal risk in the unlikely event that an Active Shooter Incident should occur on campus.
If you are outside a building when an event occurs, you should take immediate cover, preferably inside a building, circumstances permitting:
If you are in a building when an event occurs, you should:
If possible without compromising your safety, leave the building and call 911.
If the location of an Active Shooter does not permit you to leave, secure immediate area:
- Lock and barricade doors
- Do not stand by doors or windows
- Turn off lights
- Close blinds
- Block windows
- Turn off radios and computer monitors
- Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover/protection (i.e. concrete walls, filing cabinets‐cover may protect you from bullets)
- Silence cell phones
Un‐Securing an area:
- Consider risks before un‐securing rooms
- Remember, the shooter will not stop until they are engaged by an outside force
- Attempts to rescue people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area.
- Consider the safety of masses‐vs‐the safety of a few
- If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured
- Know all alternate exits in your building
- Call 911
- Program the alternate Public Safety number (810‐667‐0292) into your cell phone
Even if phone lines are overwhelmed and your call does not go through, recall.
What to Report:
- Your specific location – building name and office/room number
- Number of people at your specific location
- Injuries‐number injured, types of injuries
- Assailant(s) location, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing description, physical features, type of weapons (long gun or handgun), backpack, shooters identity if known, separate explosions from gunfire, etc
Comply with police officer instructions
- Objective is to engage assailant(s) immediately
- Evacuate victims/Medical care
- Facilitate follow up
Information from Rutgers Division of Public Safety
Many roads in Lapeer County today are flooded and/or icy. Please take extra caution when traveling today. Do not attempt to drive through a flooded roadway.
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. More than half of all flood related deaths result from vehicles being swept downstream. Of these, many are preventable.
Q: What can I do to avoid getting caught is this situation?
Follow these safety rules:
- Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, or your favorite news source for vital weather related information.
- If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don’t Drown
- Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around Don’t Drown™
- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
Find out more about Turn Around, Don’t Drown™