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Point Boro Contemplates Reverse 911

A Reverse 911 system would be used to inform residents of disasters and emergencies

 

Following concerns that Point Pleasant Borough failed to adequately warn its residents of Hurricane Sandy’s arrival on the Jersey Shore, the Borough Council is considering pursuing a Reverse 911 call system to be used in cases of future emergencies.

Now, council is wondering where to begin.

At its meeting Tuesday night at Borough Hall, council members tabled an authorization for a Reverse 911 system, saying they needed more time to consider the technology and sift through the numerous companies that offer it.

Despite putting the measure on hold for the foreseeable future, Councilman Chris Leitner said he believes Point Borough will have a system in place early next year.

“It’s a much more complicated market place then we anticipated,” he said following the meeting. “It’s certainly something we’d like to pursue, but there’s got to be three more votes.”

The search for a Reverse 911 system comes on the heels of Sandy, which prompted the town to order mandatory evacuations for some parts of the Borough.

Sunshine Harbor, along with Bay Head Shores, is among the low-lying areas east of Beaver Dam Road that suffered heavy flooding. Sunshine Harbor had no power for two weeks.

Overall, Leitner said he feels the Borough and its Office of Emergency Management did a respectable job of keeping the town’s residents updated. He did note the need for improvement, however.

“There were complaints, but saying it was a lot of complaints would be overstating it,” he said. “I do think it’s incumbent on the council to notify the public of emergencies when they arise.”

Leitner was joined by Council members Toni DePaola and Bob Sabosik in support of a Reverse 911 system, which could call residents, and in some cases send texts or emails, during emergencies.

A quasi-opponent of the idea is Mayor William Schroeder who said Sandy, as well as the evacuations ordered by the Borough, was no surprise to residents.

As it pursues a Reverse 911 system, Leitner said the Borough will look at a number of companies that offer it, compare costs and services, and move on from there. How much implementing an emergency call system could cost remains to be seen as each Reverse 911 system is town-specific.

In the interim, Leitner asked residents to sign up for a service called Nixle that provides emergency notifications. Leitner told the audience to search “Nixle” and “Point Pleasant” to find and then sign up for the service.

He said, should the Borough get its own reverse 911 service, the process would be much simpler.

normalparent December 05, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Actually I didn't need my bags packed, but thanks for the offer. I don't even live in sunshine harbor, I am speaking for those that do whom I know personally. And please don't talk to me about service to this community, my family does plenty of service for this town. U don't know half of what happened over there before, during or after the storm! And i am sorry but I listen to 101.5 religiously and not once did I hear that those parts of pt pleasant were evacuated. Residents of sunshine harbor were told recently that the gentleman in charge of evacuations resigned the night of the storm! Talk about commitment to the people of our town
Opinionated December 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I don't live in Sunshine Harbor but I knew they were ordered to evacuate (among others) for Sandy and Irene. Thanks to the Patch, I saw the maps for both. I did not realize some people lost their power as early as a week before the storm (sarcasm). They get a pass. I also checked the NOAA website to see how much rain was supposed to come (fortunately just a couple of inches). That and the wind direction(s) were my concerns. The mandatory evacuations were posted online before the storm cam and knocked out the power. I no longer read newspapers (save the environment!) so I can't say what was in the APP, etc. The fact is we ALL were caught off guard on this storm. No one could have imagined the damage that was done here. IT WAS A FREAK STORM! We tried the Honeywell System when our child was in school but got rid of it in a couple of weeks. I do not feel info on a spaghetti dinner warrants its use. To normalparent: How can you listen to 101.5? All I ever find when I try to tune in are 10 minute commercial blocks.
normalparent December 05, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Oh yea and will be sure to tell the 85 year old priest that I know that lives there. Damn father u should have gotten your butt on your bike and rode to the police station to see what was going on or better yet rather u should have just signed onto your Facebook account because all 85 year old priests that I know have Facebook accounts!
Freetobeyouandme December 06, 2012 at 12:24 AM
A lot of the problem regarding the door to door notification could have been avoided if there had been earlier, widespread announcement days in advance that door to door would no longer be used. From what I've read, it seems the decision was made the day of the mandatory evacuation and there was little or no notice that the established door to door would not be used. I am conditioned to pull over if I see lights and hear a siren but react more slowly if there are only flashing lights; same imperative comes from seeing emergency people going door to door as opposed to listening to broad warnings issued to the entire north eastern seaboard.
PTMAST December 06, 2012 at 02:48 AM
All right kids, calm down! I DO live in sunshine harbor. There was police activity and warnings for Irene but Not for Sandy. I have enough sense to leave a dangerous situation, and there are those who wouldn't leave even if someone banged on their door. That being said, I still would prefer a reverse 911. I received 2 calls from bricktown's system evacuating the barrier island ( maybe because we carried our former number) and when nothing came thru from Point, I assumed this storm was not considered to be as serious as Irene. I never thought we wouldn't have reverse 911 in place. C'mon, It's time to move up to the 21st century! It can be a very useful tool to keep the community informed and secure in a crisis situation.

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