Archive for January, 2011

January 29, 2011

Today, I spent a few moments in the barber chair quizzing a 20-something on the anniversary of the worst ice storm in Oklahoma history.

The look on her face when I brought up the subject revealed that she did not have pleasant memories of the event.

What is she doing different? Not much except her ex-boyfriends gas stove is no longer available now.

Have any supplies? Have a weather radio? How about the City Alert system?

No … no … AND no.

Next week, help me remember to take an Are You Ready book by for her.

In the mean time, the Red Cross is planning shelter operations for the next winter storm to help residents just like her.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=kc5fm-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0006UYON8&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Safe Room Rebate Program

January 27, 2011

Applicants of the safe room rebate program are encouraged to be patient.

The program is still functioning as the City continues to work with the State and Federal partners to insure its completion.

NO construction can begin until letters are received from the City.

Thanks to all who have applied.  No NEW applicants are being accepted.  Please continue to monitor the blog for later updates.

FCC seeks Input for 911 service

January 25, 2011

Washington, D.C. — The Federal Communications Commission today took an
important step to revolutionize America’s 9-1-1 services for consumers and
first responders by adopting a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking public
comment on how Next Generation 911 (NG911) can enable the public to obtain
emergency assistance by means of advanced communications technologies
beyond traditional voice-centric devices.

The FCC has undertaken this proceeding in response to a recommendation in
the National Broadband Plan seeking to harness the life-saving potential
of text messaging, email, video and photos from mobile and landline
broadband services. Despite the fact that there are more than 270 million
wireless consumers nationwide and that approximately 70 percent of all
9-1-1 calls are made from mobile hand-held devices, today’s 9-1-1 systems
support voice-centric communications only and are not designed to transfer
and receive text messaging, videos or photos. In some emergency
situations — especially in circumstances where a call could further
jeopardize someone’s life and safety — texting may be the only way to
reach out for help. In addition, many Americans, particularly those with
disabilities, rely on text messaging as their primary means of
communication.

The sharing of timely and relevant videos and photos would provide first
responders with on-the-ground information to help assess and address
emergencies in real-time. For example, these technologies could help
report crimes as they are happening thus giving law enforcement officials
an increased advantage when responding.

The NOI asked a comprehensive set of questions that address a number of
issues related to the deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1 services,
including, but not limited to:

• The technical feasibility and limitations of text messaging video
streaming and photos;
• Consumer privacy issues, particularly related to the sharing of personal
electronic medical data;
• Development of technical and policy standards;
• Consumer education and awareness; and
• Inter-governmental coordination and coordination within the public
safety community.

Action by the Commission, December 21, 2010, by NOI (FCC 10-200).
Chairman Genachowski, and Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn and
Baker. Separate statements issued by Chairman Genachowski, and
Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn and Baker. PS Docket No. 10-255.
For additional information about the NOI, please contact Patrick Donovan,
Policy and Licensing Division, FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau, at 202-418-2413 or via email: Patrick.Donovan@fcc.gov.

-FCC-

Weather Radio Grant

January 22, 2011

Altus — The City of Altus Emergency Management office announced a Weather Radio rebate program, funded by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State of Oklahoma Emergency Management office.

The program will reimburse Jackson County residents 75% of the cost of a weather radio, according to Lloyd Colston, Altus Emergency Management director. “In other words, a $30 radio will cost $7.50, after the rebate is paid.”

“It could save your life and your family’s life,” said Jerry Gibson, director of
Jackson County Emergency Management, speaking to the benefit of the weather
radio. “It’s like a smoke detector for weather.”

Funds are limited. Citizens are encouraged to act quickly. Local vendors such
as Radio Shack and United Grocery Stores have radios in stock. The rebate
program only pays for radios with Specific Area Messaging Encoder technology
such as described at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrsame.htm, explained Gibson.

Inside the home, it is difficult, if not impossible to hear the sirens.
Emergency managers encourage multiple means of getting warnings. Weather
radios, cell phone, pagers, email, and sirens are just some of the tools in the
toolbox.

In order to participate in the rebate program, Jackson County and City of Altus
residents must first buy the radio, obtain the reimbursement form, complete the
form, and submit it, with the receipt, for payment by the City.

The form is available at the American Red Cross office, the Salvation Army
church building, Jerry Gibson’s office at the Jackson County Courthouse, at City
of Altus City Hall, or online at http://ow.ly/pYgX

Once the form is received, it will be submitted to State emergency management
officials for payment. This is a pass-through grant, explained Colston. The
money will come back to the City of Altus, which will then approve the claim for
payment to the resident.

Those who need help with programming their new radio can get that help from the Altus Skywarn Association, the local weather watch group. Those who need help can leave their radio with the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or the local emergency management officials who will have the radio returned after programming is completed.

For more information, visit http://altusem.us or call 580.482.8333 for Colston
or 580.482.0229 for Gibson.