DECATUR, Ga. and FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In May, the City of Decatur announced the availability of Smart911 for all residents. The Smart911 service allows residents to create a Safety Profile for their household with vital details they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency. It is free to residents and 100% private and secure. Now, Smart911 has added features to help residents during a natural disaster or emergency. Participants can opt to provide the county's emergency management officials and responders with additional details that may be used in disaster planning, evacuation and recovery efforts.
"While we cannot always anticipate a disaster, we can plan to respond to one," said Decatur Fire Chief, Toni Washington. "Whether there is a flood, fire or other natural disaster, being able to determine who will need what type of assistance, and where they are, will significantly benefit our ability to respond. By providing information such as mobility limitations, electricity needs, evacuation assistance, and even pet information, residents are giving us a head start in helping them."
To participate in the enhanced Smart911 program, visit www.smart911.com to create a Safety Profile or update an existing one. A Safety Profile can include specific medical conditions and functional needs, all family members, pets, photographs, home and work addresses associated with telephone numbers, vehicles and more. This information is immediately made available to 9-1-1 when a resident places an emergency call and can be sent to those "in the field" for fast, precise emergency response. Now, within a Safety Profile, residents can also grant permission to emergency management officials to see specific rescue related details for use in a disaster situation.The additional details provide those involved with emergency management the ability to more efficiently plan for emergencies and respond. For example, during a weather emergency which may cause a power outage, officials can determine which residents may require power for medical reasons, those needing assistance evacuating their homes, even the proper handling of pets. Profiles are completely safe and secure, and each resident manages his/her own information at www.smart911.com. The availability of these additional details adds to Decatur's objective of preparing the whole community for a disaster or other emergency, not just those with functional or access needs. Smart911 is a product of Rave Mobile Safety, a software partner for campus and public safety. According to Rave's President and CEO, Tom Axbey: "Access to the right information is critical for minimizing the impact of any emergency situation. This enhancement to Smart911 enables emergency management officials to anticipate the needs of the community long before a disaster strikes, allowing for a much more efficient and coordinated response. By putting more information in the hands of public safety officials, jurisdictions like Decatur dramatically improve their ability to respond to their community.