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Posted on: June 13, 2019

Weather alerts can save lives

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June 13, 2019

Up-to-the-minute, accurate info can save families

MURPHY (June 13, 2019) Turbulent weather, often hard if not impossible to predict, is not unknown or even uncommon in the large North Texas region that includes Murphy and its surroundings.  Fast-forming storms can move over the local area very rapidly, leaving behind potentially disastrous results, especially for those families unprepared and unaware, warns Murphy Police Chief Arthur “Trey” Cotten.

                “Knowing that something like severe weather is in the area, and that it could be headed our way, is the first and best step in helping families prepare for it,” he said.  “Being aware of the danger is essential to keeping our families safe.”  Murphy residents can ensure their situational awareness is at its highest level by signing up for the free Rave Smart911 alert program, the official emergency notification system used by the City of Murphy to communicate with community residents during emergencies.  Alerts can be provided to participants through email messages, text messages or voicemail messages, or any combination of these.

                “The idea is to get information out quickly and accurately,” adds the Chief.  “Doing that makes it easier for families to put themselves in position to remain safe.  Getting high-quality information directly from us keeps down misinformation or rumors.  While we may all be fans of social media, those sites can be filled with extremely inaccurate, and perhaps harmful, information.”     

                Once a Rave Smart911 account is established by an individual or family, the kinds of alerts can be specifically chosen, including weather, traffic, emergency, and others.  These include bomb and active shooter threats, chemical spills or gas leaks, contamination of drinking water, fires, impending floods, missing persons and virtually any emergency where information needs to be disseminated quickly and accurately. 

In addition, Rave Smart911 gives citizens a way to securely provide information about themselves and their household prior to an emergency, so that 9-1-1 and responders can better assist them during one.  Citizens can sign up for free by logging on to http://murphytx.org/166/RAVE-Smart-911 and creating a Safety Profile for their household that can include any information they may want 9-1-1 call takers and first responders to have.  Then, if they need to dial 9-1-1 their Safety Profile will immediately display on the call-taker’s screen, allowing the dispatcher to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.

                “The Safety Profile allows residents the ability to include medical information such as deadly allergies, diabetic conditions, pacemakers, heart disorders, blood types and maladies, as well as the presence of elderly family members.  All of that can make a life-saving difference to the medical responders,” said Chief Cotten.

                Other features include adding photos of children, pets and animals, close relatives, and other information that can prove essential in saving time during search and rescue emergencies.  The Safety Profile must be checked and verified every six months to ensure accuracy and completeness.  “There is really no good reason not to do this,” concluded the Chief.

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