Grand County officials urge residents to be ready for emergencies
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado
The wisdom “be prepared” has even more credence when it comes to the safety of those you love.
But “being prepared” for major emergencies necessitates more than a utility knife or mini-flashlight hanging from a key chain.
The Grand County Office of Emergency Management is encouraging community members to utilize other tools available to them to reach a better state of readiness were a natural disaster, a community-wide crisis or tragedy to strike the Grand County area.
Oftentimes, “We’re a society that plans for so many events, but when it comes to emergencies, it’s often overlooked,” said Nowell Curran, spokesperson for the emergency management office.
Primary tools to keep in mind are: 2-1-1, Code Red and http://www.gcemergency.com.
For families and individuals who don’t own a car, for the infirm and the elderly, for those who are immobilized for any reason whether temporarily or permanently, for those who require oxygen and those on a ventilator, 2-1-1 registration is a key resource available to community members.
Last year, Grand County contracted with the United Way of Larimer County for its 2-1-1 service, a telephone help line designed to assist the public in times of need.
So far, however, only 10 people have signed up, according to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management.
“There are still plenty of people out there who should take advantage of this service,” said Curran.
The service creates a database of names in the community of individuals who may need assistance in the event of a major emergency.
Through the 2-1-1 call center, community members may register so that responders can be prepared to help them in a community-wide emergency.
To register, the individual or someone registering for another provides the necessary information to a live person at the call center, a phone line available six days a week.
The call takes less than 10 minutes on average, according to Curran.
From there, the Office of Emergency Management keeps a running list of people who may need evacuation transportation or other emergency help during a major wildfire, blizzard, pandemic flu, or emergency power outage.
For those who depend on a ventilator for survival, for example, registering can mean the difference between life or death.
To register, call 2-1-1 or 1-866-485-0211. The Grand County Office of Emergency Management is also available to assist with questions or to help in registering, at (970) 887-2732.
About 9,000 members of the community have registered for this emergency service.
Essentially, CodeRED works for cell phones as Reverse 911 works for landlines.
In times of evacuation, fire, flooding, hazardous materials spills and drinking water contamination, the CodeRED system would kick in to alert cell-phone users of necessary information by both text and voicemail.
Meanwhile, Reverse 911 would be activated to inform households by landline.
Anyone who own property or lives in Grand County can register. With a growing number of households turning to just cell-phone use, the tool is an added vehicle to safety.
The key, however, is registering.
The Grand County CodeRED registration site is found via Web link on http://www.gcemergency.com.
The Grand County Office of Emergency Management is also available to assist with questions or to help in registering, at (970) 887-2732.
The Web site managed by Grand County’s emergency office provides up-to-the-minute emergency notification and information about major crises that affect the community. No login is needed to obtain information.
– To reach Tonya Bina, e-mail email@example.com or 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.
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