City wants citizens to “Resolve to be Ready”
The City of Borger wants its citizens to “resolve to be ready” in times of emergency.The city has become part of a new public mass information system, better known as PARIS (Panhandle Area Regional Information System).The system has been in the design-build stage over the past year and was officially unveiled on Jan. 16 of this year. A region-wide media campaign began that day to encourage residents in the panhandle area to “Resolve to Be Ready” by registering their contact information into the new regional system.“Why is this important? The more contact points that residents enter into the system, the more likely they are to receive a notice when time is of the essence,” Borger City Manager Eddie Edwards said. “And, it’s important to note that any information entered into the system belongs to the individual that provided that information.”Nobody else can see it or use it for any other purpose other than notifications. The system knows to send a call or text message to the cell phone, email address, or home phone number entered by a registering resident.Edwards said the City of Borger had a system in place known as CodeRED. The system, commonly referred to as reverse 911, wasprovided for under a contract between the Emergency Communications Network and the City of Borger.“While the CodeRED system has certainly worked well, it was limited to voice calls only and has been discontinued as of Feb. 1, 2012,” he said.The PARIS mass notification system has the ability to deliver an emergency or informational message by voice, e-mail, text message, fax, pager, or any combination thereof.“With the reliance on mobile communications growing, it’s more important than ever that critical information be conveyed in a mobile environment,” Edwards said. “Panhandle residents are active and they’re not always around a radio, TV, or warning siren when emergency notices are issued. However, if that same notice can also go out to a cell phone in the form of a voice call, text message, or e-mail, it greatly increases the odds that the message will reach its intended audience no matter where the audience happens to be.”The regional “Resolve to Be Ready” campaign is being carried out in conjunction with FEMA’s national campaign of the same name. As a first step toward personal preparedness, residents should “resolve to be ready” by logging onto www.R2BeReady.com to register their contact information, along with the contact information of their family members into the new system.“By registering, residents also make themselves eligible to win one of three prizes that will be awarded each week throughout the six-week campaign,” Edwards said.In the months to come, new communications opportunities will be added into the system so residents are encouraged to come back to the site from time-to-time to see what’s been added and to make sure their contact information stays current.“So, start your New Years right and ‘Resolve to Be Ready,’” Edwards said.