On January 21, 2010 at approximately 9 P.M., the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office activated the Emergency Notification System (ENS) to alert residents in the Black Canyon City area of potential flooding. Communications personnel, under the direction of Technical Services Commander Lieutenant Brian Hunt, completed nearly 1100 notifications to residents in the affected lowland areas. This was the first deployment of the system resulting from critical flood and weather issues since Sheriff Steve Waugh announced the technology last year.
YCSO personnel in the Dispatch Center utilized the system by typing a specific message regarding potential flooding concerns and suggesting evacuation to a local school facility designated as a Red Cross shelter. The computer program, which sends both text and voice messages, then began notifying those in the affected area who are registered in the system.
This system has many advantages over other emergency contact systems which only use telephone numbers provided from the local telephone company. This system, the SurfSimple® Mapstorm, allows for residents of Yavapai County to add additional contact information, permitting multiple contact points including cell phones, fax machines, email, pagers, Blackberry addresses and office voice mail. The use of only a landline phone greatly reduces the number of successful contacts and those without landlines would not receive the message.
Lieutenant Hunt said, “We are very please with the performance of our ENS during the recent storms and continue to encourage the public to visit our website, www.ycsoaz.gov, to learn more about ENS and to register their wireless and business devices.” Hunt added, “The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the enhancement of public safety through technology on all fronts. An advance ENS undoubtedly aids public safety personnel during critical emergencies and saves lives. “
In order to update contact information, residents should go to the YCSO website at www.ycsoaz.gov and click the ENS link found on the lower right side of the webpage. Users will be taken to the ENS homepage which provides a detailed explanation about the program. At the bottom of the page, links entitled “Community Tool” and “Business Tool” can be accessed and provide a webpage allowing entry of electronic notification information. There is also a free text area which allows special instructions for first responders, such as “Elderly parent at residence. Assistance needed with evacuation.”
Those without access to a computer, or not able to obtain assistance with the program, may call the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Records Section or Crime Prevention Office at 928-771-3260, Monday – Friday for help during normal business hours.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at
(928) 771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov