In case of an emergency agencies need to be able to contact residents.
The job of contacting residents when a possible emergency arises is hampered for government agencies by technological advancements like mobile phones. This questions the effectiveness of agencies. Paul Suarez a Columbian reporter said in a recent article that warning for residents has become more difficult because they are using less phone lines and more are using their cell phones more often.
One example lately was a small gas leak in Battle Ground that made officials notify citizens of danger even though the affected area was not of a larger scale and should have not been notified on a large scale.
The Clark Regional Emergency Agency started using a reverse 911 service for phone numbers that are registered in an area to be called with a warning message although not many people use landlines these days and only so many could be called using the reverse 911.
People using cellphones, smartphones, or internet lines can be called using reverse cell phone services if they are registered although most do not. John Wheeler coordinator of emergency management for CRESA says there is no sure way to reach those people through reverse cell phone services.
It seems with most people having reliable communications these days that they could be contacted more easily with reverse 911 if the service also included mobile devices in addition to land lines.
Sometimes not reaching people could be a good thing because of privacy issues that are much needed these days. Author Ayn Rand said many years ago that Civilization is progressing toward a society with out privacy, you might agree with that quote today.
Officials from the government have to be careful on the issues between privacy and what is best for the public. For small gas leaks like in Battle Ground, it was considered minor but could have been more of an issue and could have been threatening.
CRESA officials say that cell phones are the future of technology and will need to deliver the warnings. Although people are concerned about privacy and unwanted messages could be an issue.
Those concerns will need to be addressed but for now, it is important that residents be alerted for emergencies. If you decide to register a cellphone to get warnings, you can visit . Additional details about the Reverse 911 service can be found at .
Everyone should register a phone number to be alerted during an emergency and to be safe.