July 1, 2008
Oswego County Expands Reverse 911 System
OSWEGO COUNTY - For nearly a year, Oswego County has had the ability to provide emergency information to the public with a reverse 911 communications system. Now, the county can use this tool to send notifications to residents through their e-mail address or cellular telephone.
“The reverse 911 system allows officials to send a recorded telephone message to targeted households,” said Michael Allen, Director of the E-911 Communications Center. “Using this same system, we can now send additional notices using e-mail, voicemail and text messaging. This allows us multiple opportunities to reach people in the event of an emergency.”
The Hyper-Reach software system is currently used to call landline numbers provided by telephone companies. The program allows the E-911 Communications Center to contact up to 10,000 households an hour and relay a recorded message with emergency information.
“This new feature allows residents to register their e-mail address or cellular phone number to receive emergency information from the E-911 Center,” said County Legislator Paul Santore, District 16, Oswego, chairman of the County Legislature's Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee. “The process is simple and convenient. People can either register online or fill out a form.”
To sign up, visit www.hyper-reach.com/comsignup.jsp?id=12481 and complete the online form. Residents who do not have Internet access or have difficulty accessing the Web site can call the E-911 Center at 349-8215 or 1-800-679-3911 to request a form.
Reverse 911 Community Sign-Up forms will be available in the Economic Development and Tourism Building during the Oswego County Fair. The fair takes place Wednesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 6 at the county fairgrounds in Sandy Creek.
Constellation Energy and Entergy Nuclear provided funding for Oswego County to purchase the license for the Hyper-Reach system last year.
“The primary purpose of the reverse 911 system is to back up public emergency notification sirens for the nuclear power plants,” said Legislator Santore.
Other important uses include missing child alerts, hostage situations, crimes-in-progress, or large-scale evacuations. It can be employed in non-emergency situations, such as notifying a targeted neighborhood of a boil-water advisory or about aerial spraying against mosquitoes.
The Legislature's Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee oversees the E-911 Communications Program. In addition to Legislator Santore, the committee includes legislators James Bryant, vice chairman, District 5; Mary Flett, District 17; Margaret Kastler, District 1; James Oldenburg, District 14; Arthur Ospelt, District 12; and Lee Walker Jr., District 15.
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