Friday, March 14, 2014

Reducing Accidental 9-1-1 Calls

We have all done it- or we know someone who has done it. Calling 9-1-1 unintentionally is more common than you think. And with the use of cell phones, more accidental 9-1-1 calls are happening more than ever. Not only do these accidental phone calls clog up the emergency line, but it also delays emergency responders from getting to real emergencies quicker.

Many older versions of wireless phones have a feature that allows you to dial 9-1-1 by simply holding down the “9” button.  This feature was originally created to help the user dial 9-1-1 quickly during an emergency. Unfortunately, the feature has created more accidental 9-1-1 calls than were anticipated. Another issue that poses risk is open-faced phones that can bump up against other items in your purse or briefcase causing an accidental call to 9-1-1.
Luckily, with newer model phones, the likeliness of accidently dialing 9-1-1 has gone down because you can’t automatically dial 9-1-1. You usually have to activate the emergency mode of the cell phone in order to contact emergency services.

As a cell phone user, there are things you can do to make sure that you do not accidently dial 9-1-1. Let’s all work together to help reduce non-emergency calls!

·         Make sure your phone is locked using the keypad lock feature. By having a keypad lock on your phone, you help eliminate accidental calls by preventing the phone from responding to keystrokes until the phone is unlocked.

·         Some phones have an auto-dial feature for 9-1-1. We suggest turning this off (and so does the FCC) if your phone has this feature. In order to figure out if your phone has this feature, look at the manual or contact your service provider.

·         Don’t let your kids play with your phone. They could accidently dial 9-1-1. Try getting your kids a play phone or one that won’t dial emergency services.

Remember, if you do ever find yourself in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.

Monday, March 3, 2014

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week: You Can Never Be Too Prepared!

This week, March 2nd through the 8th, marks National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. While severe weather can happen at any time of the year, it is important to be proactive and be prepared for any severe weather that could come your way.

Last year Oklahoma was devastated by tornadoes. Already this year Georgia has been devastated by severe ice and snow, among other states as well. While we can never predict the weather, we can do our best to be prepared for it.
This year’s focus is on family connections and the importance of parents including children in preparedness conversations and planning. Being prepared is important for all members of the family. This means talking with your kids about what to do in the event that there is a disaster in your area. It is also important to practice disaster plans and checklists with kids.

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has prepared downloadable family emergency plan templates, emergency kit checklists, and disaster fact sheets for kids. They provide a wealth of information that will help you and your family properly prepare for severe weather. You can find all this information here:
Take this week to review an emergency plan with your significant other, children or other family members who live within your home. Take the Pledge to be Prepared and join many other families across the country as they prepare their families for possible emergencies. You can never be too prepared. Sign the pledge here:

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.
Preparing for a Tornado