TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Bill Could Spur Telephone Warning Systems

Bill Could Spur Telephone Warning Systems

Eric Friedebach (
13 Feb 2006 12:35:20 -0800

(Indianapolis - AP) Indiana lawmakers are considering legislation that
would allow counties to use emergency telephone systems to warn
residents of approaching severe weather. Such a system would use
"reverse 911" technology to ring the telephones in homes where a storm
was headed. The bill was prompted by a November tornado that ripped
through southwestern Indiana in the middle of the night, killing 24
people. Many of the victims were asleep and never heard the wailing of
warning sirens.

[From Eric: Does anyone know of this type of system being used anywhere

Eric Friedebach
/Jaywalking in Dallas/

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Municipal authorities here in
Independence have tried something similar but only under a very
limited test, using a 'phone tree' sort of thing, rather than a formal
'reverse-911'. We had a situation here a couple years ago where a
small child was kidnapped from a school playground after school let
out one day. The playground attendant saw it happen and the first
order of business was to notify police of course. It turns out the
'kidnapper' was an older female who, while she and the child knew each
other, she was _not_ authorized to take her away from the
school. Police gave immediate chase, and caught the woman when she
wrecked her car while attempting to get around a railroad crossing on
Oak Street. The child was unhurt; the woman's car was pretty well
wrecked and she was hurt enough to require hospitalization. In the
meantime, the school's 'phone tree' was busy; one or two employees of
the school immediatly telephoned 'responsible parents' from the local
PTA organization; each of those responsible parents began notifying
others on their lists, etc.

Within 30-45 minutes, I think almost everyone in town knew something
was going on. Police had the woman in custody and under arrest in
about the same time; I understand the way it all ended was the woman
was found mentally incompetent to stand trial. And I notice that many
other community organizations and churches here in town have the same
kind of 'phone tree'. If the matter is important enough, police will
telephone one or two people from that group or organization, within an
hour more or less everyone in town will know about it.

I have often thought however that if terrorists or other malcontents
decided to do a number on the USA, the best time to explode a bomb
would be at 1 - 2:00 AM Pacific Time when eighty or ninety percent of
all Americans would be asleep. I mean, just imagine you went to bed
some night as usual, midnight or so, and never woke up again, because
you died during the night either because of a tornado, a bomb from a
terrorist, or whatever. You do NOT announce your terrorist activity
for mid afternoon or early evening, that would give too many folks the
chance to run for cover, try and evacuate, whatever. PAT]

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