Water situation: did you get a call from City Hall?
November 19, 2010
Park City officials on Nov. 8 used City Hall’s Reverse 911 system to inform people of problems with the drinking water in several neighborhoods, the first time it has been put into operation in an emergency situation.
Hugh Daniels, who manages City Hall’s emergency programs, said the Reverse 911 system started calling telephone numbers at 11:50 a.m. The computerized system took approximately two hours to complete the calls to 1,273 telephone numbers in the affected neighborhoods.
Daniels said the Reverse 911 calls were made to numbers in Thaynes Canyon, the Resort Center, Saddle View and Iron Canyon — the neighborhoods that were put under an advisory.
"I think it worked fine," Daniels said, adding, "It’s potentially a powerful tool."
Daniels said the message on the Reverse 911 calls included information about the discolored water and a caution not to drink the faucet water, cook using the water or take showers. It also pointed people to City Hall’s website for further information.
The Reverse 911 system enables officials to call phone numbers in certain neighborhoods with information. The database includes upward of 20,000 phone numbers of people with home telephones using services from Qwest. City Hall wants people with cell phones and voice over Internet protocol systems to register for the Reverse 911 system.
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The system has been operational for approximately 18 months. There had not been an emergency situation warranting its use, though, in that time. Daniels has said it had been used on one occasion prior to Nov. 8. In the previous case, the Reverse 911 system informed people of street closures related to the Tour of Utah bicycle races. He has said tests involving calls to City Hall staffers had been successful.
People using cell phones or voice over Internet protocol are able to register for the Reverse 911 system on City Hall’s website, http://www.parkcity.org. Select the ‘Register Here for Reverse 911’ link on the front page. People may also register by calling Daniels. His number is 615-5185.
City Hall, meanwhile, sent out teams of two to canvass the neighborhoods affected to distribute fliers with information about the water problems.