New service will provide emergency preparedness for residents
Published 9:47 am, Saturday, September 22, 2012
A new service to assist in emergency situations is being implemented.
New Canaan will be the first in Connecticut to use SmartPrepare, a new initiative by the state Department of Health and Human Services to provide the emergency management officials and responders with more complete information about specific needs so they can more effectively plan for, respond to and recover from disasters, according to First Selectman Robert Mallozzi, who announced the program at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting.
"Since Hurricane Irene last year, our town had been searching for ways in which we could enhance our existing process for identifying and locating at-risk individuals within our community, and SmartPrepare is that solution," he said.
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"SmartPrepare gives us the capability to rapidly access information provided by our residents in a manner that helps prioritize activities during disaster planning and response, allowing us to better serve our residents and businesses." With SmartPrepare, residents and commuters are able to create a "Preparedness Profile" at www.smartprepare.com that is available to specific emergency management and public health officials for disaster planning and response activities. The profile can include specific medical conditions and functional needs, all family members, pets, photographs, home and work addresses associated with telephone numbers, vehicles, and more. Then, in the event of an emergency, local emergency management officials can review these details, allowing for more effective response in a disaster.
For example, during a winter storm which may cause a power outage, officials can determine which residents may require power for medical reasons, which individuals may need assistance evacuating their homes, and even proper handling of pets.
Profiles are completely safe and secure, and each resident manages their own information.
"Our goal is to help residents provide us with us as much information as possible so that we can plan and respond more effectively and efficiently during a crisis, and SmartPrepare helps us accomplish that goal," said Health & Human Services Director Carol McDonald. "This is an innovative approach to empowering the community to participate in their own preparedness. Overall, this new service will give us additional ways to engage our community and collaborate with our emergency preparedness partners." SmartPrepare is a product of Rave Mobile Safety.
"Having access to the right information is critical for minimizing the impact of any emergency situation. SmartPrepare enables emergency management officials to anticipate the needs of the community long before a disaster strikes, allowing for a much more efficient and coordinated response," said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. "By putting more information in the hands of emergency responders, jurisdictions like New Canaan, Connecticut, dramatically improve their ability to respond to their community."
Participation is voluntary, and profiles are confidential and only used for disaster planning and response purposes, and are only available to town public health and emergency management officials.