AUSTIN (KXAN) - Residents of the 10-county Capital Area Council of Governments region can now register and get notifications on their cell phones for emergencies that may affect their homes and businesses or those of their relatives.
Through a Web-based application , individuals enter a name and cell phone number, then attach one or more locations to that number in order to get important public safety messages.
In this time of extreme drought and wildfires flaring, it would be wise for the public to register their phone numbers and locations to get these emergency notifications, according to Ed Schaefer, CAPCOG's Homeland Security director. He said the program was used to tell residents to evacuate in the case of the Oak Hill fire in April and also used in Burnet County when wildflares burned.
CAPCOG used a combination of Homeland Security grant funds and funds from participating local governments to implement the Emergency Notification System in 2004. This system allows public safety personnel to relay critical emergency information to citizens when human life or property is in danger.
Originally, the system would only contact only those persons with regular, land-line telephone service. All land-line telephone numbers in the region are registered on the system. Phone numbers remain confidential if registered, and only authorized public safety personnel can access the information to make an emergency notification message.
With the increase in the use of cell phones, many people no longer have land lines at their homes or businesses. CAPCOG's staff worked with a software developer to implement a Web-based interface that allows persons to locate their residence on a map and thus receive emergency notifications.
Earlier this year, the capabilities of the system were expanded to include the ability to deliver emergency messages to hearing-impaired persons who rely on Telecommunications Device for the Deaf technology. CAPCOG's program was among the first in the country to have this capability.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.