Rural areas receive new emergency notification service
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In an emergency, it's important to notify the people affected as quickly as possible, but for small towns and rural areas, getting information to the community can be a difficult task.
Emergency managers in the Waco region have a new tool to get vital information to their citizens instantly. The new HOTready emergency notification system can contact particular regions—even specific houses—and can send customized outbound messages.
"Everybody gets the message at once, allows you to give a consistant message, a clear message." Timothy Jeske with the Heart of Texas Council of Governments said.
The system keeps track of who received the message and will call back if someone doesn't answer their phone.
"At any given point there's three hundred and fifty phone calls being made at once," Jeske said. "All together, you're looking at ten to twelve thousand phone calls."
The system works off the 911 database, but cell phones and Voice Over IP (VOIP) Service users have to register.
"That could be as much as fifty percent of the population base, so we need people with cell phones to register their cell phones on our system to be notified in an emergency," Harold Ferguson with the Heart of Texas Council of Governments said.
The emergency information service is free, other than your normal cell phone charges. User information stays private and will not be sold or distributed.
To register your cell phone or voice over I-P phone number, go to HOTready.com.