The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management today announced significant enhancements to its free Smart911 service that will allow responders to better protect and serve residents, including those with access and functional needs, during emergency situations. With the new updates, individuals will now be able to share their information with local emergency managers and receive alerts on potentially hazardous situations.
“Just as every emergency is unique, so are the needs of residents. The enhancements to Smart911 will help quickly identify and serve those who may need extra assistance from emergency management teams and first responders,” said AJ Gary, director of the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management. “We hope every resident will sign up for Smart911 and take advantage of this potentially life-saving tool.”
Smart911 is a free service that helps individuals improve their personal safety by receiving alerts and creating Safety Profiles for their households. Safety Profiles include information residents want 9-1-1 call takers and first responders to have, including data about family members, residences, pets, medical conditions, special needs, home addresses, utilities, emergency contacts and more. When individuals make emergency calls, their Safety Profiles are automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information. The service that is being expanded in Arkansas protects more than 45 million nationwide.
The enhancements to Smart911 will provide emergency managers with better information and additional resources to be more efficient in residents’ times of need. Specifically, it will now include capabilities responders need to serve access and functional need populations when preparing for or responding to disasters and other emergencies such as:
● Power Outages: Rapidly identify and locate individuals who have critical dependencies on electricity, including those who require ventilators, kidney dialysis or refrigerated medications.
● Evacuation: Locate individuals with mobility limitations or transportation challenges and plan for the necessary transportation resources.
● Transportation Interruptions: Determine which residents have critical medical needs that will go unmet if there is a sustained transportation disruption.
● Shelter Resource Planning: Provide resources the community will need during incidents requiring emergency sheltering, including information related to residents’ medical conditions, disabilities, pets, primary languages, and other access and functional needs, in advance of a disaster.
Residents across all 75 Arkansas counties can create their own Safety Profiles and opt-in for emergency notifications and information sharing with 9-1-1 and emergency responders for free at www.smart911.com or by texting “Smart911” to 67283 to download the Smart911 app.