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January 18, 2008
Emergency Phone Notification Test will take Place Jan. 31 in Minetto,
Oswego - Oswego County's Emergency Telephone Notification System will be tested during the evening of Thursday, Jan. 31, in the area of Minetto and Oswego Town. The test will demonstrate the effectiveness of the emergency phone system as a backup in the event of a siren failure in the Nine Mile Point emergency siren system.
The Oswego County E-911 Communications Center will use Hyper-Reach, an Internet-based software system, to call landline phones at about 450 homes and businesses in the area surrounding the emergency siren on County Route 20, just off West Fifth Street Road in the Town of Minetto.
“This test will allow us to demonstrate how the telephone notification system will work and how it can be used to augment public notification systems,” said Michael Allen, director of the E-911 Communications Center.
“The telephone notification system will be a backup method of notifying the public if a siren in the 10-mile emergency planning zone fails during an emergency,” County Emergency Management Office Director Patricia Egan said. “We're grateful for the 911 center's assistance in implementing this backup system, and to our nuclear power plant partners for providing it.”
Constellation Energy and Entergy Nuclear provided funding to purchase the license for the Hyper-Reach system. The program allows the E-911 Communications Center to contact up to 10,000 households in an hour and relay a recorded message with emergency information. If no one is home, the system will leave a message on an answering machine. If a line is busy, the system will make repeated attempts to reach the household or business.
During the test at about 7 p.m. on Jan. 31, telephone calls will be made to every hard-wired landline in the areas of Minetto and Oswego Town surrounding the siren on County Route 20, as delineated by Oswego County maps of siren coverage. People receiving calls through the Hyper-Reach notification system will hear a recorded message that states, “This is a test of the Oswego County Hyper-Reach System for a nuclear power plant emergency. If this were an actual emergency, you would be instructed to turn on your AM/FM radio or television and tune to an Emergency Alert System station for information and instructions. This is only a test.
“Please press 1 on your phone to verify you have received this message”
While its primary purpose is to back up the existing public emergency notification sirens for nuclear power plant emergencies, Allen said the telephone notification system can be used during emergency situations such as missing children alerts, hostage situations, when crimes are in progress, or when large numbers of people need to be evacuated. It can also be used in non-emergency situations, such as to notify a targeted neighborhood of a boil-water advisory.
For information, call the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at 591-9150.
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