Who do residents text for help when phone lines are jammed?
Bowie, MD (PRWEB) September 10, 2015
In the aftermath of Katrina, 9/11 and other disasters, texting has worked when voice lines are jammed. During these disasters, it was often the only mode of communication residents had to reach individuals for help. While texting has proven effective in these situations, many government agencies still lack the ability to allow victims of disaster to contact first responders when phones are jammed.
Text2Them, Inc. has developed a patent-pending solution to pre- and post-disaster communications. By allowing residents the ability to text their information directly to city and state first responders, or other designated locations, and get connected for two-way text, vital communication can be established quickly when phone lines are damaged or jammed.
Studies by Click-a-tell and others have shown the time it takes to handle text conversations is a fraction of what it takes to handle voice calls. As a result, a greater number of messages can be handled. Text2Them can even allow residents and others to respond to text alerts received from current alert systems and establish two-way text communication. Even when the disaster is so large scale that it completely wipes out emergency response systems in a geographical area, Text2Them messages can be managed from outside the disaster area.
According to The Washington Post reporting on the 2011 east coast earthquake (Wed 8/24/11): “The earthquake didn’t appear to damage cell towers. They simply got jammed because everyone tried to call at the same time — a problem exacerbated during times of emergency. Voice calls take up more bandwidth than texts and e-mails, which carriers have urged customers to use instead.“
But if residents need help and can’t call, who can they text? They can’t respond to the organization that sent them that alert text message because these organizations are not set up to receive these cries for help. Also, contrary to what many residents think, they cannot send a text message to most 911 centers, or at least, not until the Next Generation 911 rolls out years from now. So what do they do?
Likewise, even FEMA’s IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert Warning System) and PLAN (Personal Localized Alerting Network) systems, which broadcast text message alerts, fail to adequately address the communication issues exposed during the east coast earthquake. None of these programs provide a way for residents to reach relief organizations when phone systems are jammed or damaged.
As reported on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s show (Tues 8/23/11), “On a typical Tuesday between 1:30 – 2 PM the New York City 911 call center receives about 800 calls, after the East Coast earthquake, the center received over 6,900 and there were another 4,000 received by 311 their info line.” Considering that most people were not able to use their phones to call 911, the real numbers of attempts are even greater.
In August 2014 Text2Them won the top honor “Most Disruptive Technology Award” for its post-disaster communication solution which allows government to function with phones are jammed through the use of two-way texting. Lt. Charles Manning with Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, who sat on the six-person judges’ panel, called the idea a game-changer. He oversaw the county’s 911-dispatch center for the last year and a half and said, “What you’re proposing is an area we can improve upon. It’s in a good price point, it’s easy to implement and it’s forward thinking.” Loudoun Business August 28, 2014.
Text2Them’s post-disaster solutions are available through Carahsoft Technology Corp.’s Maryland COTS Software Master Contract; the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) contract; SEWP V federal contract; and The Cooperative Purchasing Network contract (TCPN) which provides access to state and local government entities as well as nonprofit organizations in all 50 states.
The full details of the Text2Them programs will be presented during webinar on October 20, 2015 visit Carahsoft website at http://events.carahsoft.com/event-detail/4270/t2t/register/ for more details.
About Text2Them (http://www.text2them.com)
While others have developed specific application uses such as Text-a-Tip, Text for Alerts, and Text to 911, etc., Text2Them has developed the first two-way text communication system that incorporates all these applications and more. Text2Them allows customers, clients and employees the ability to reach your organization and receive an auto reply, connect to a live operator and even have the text conversation transferred to another person or department within your agency. This is how your voice phone system works isn’t it? Now your organization can also communicate by text.
The company has received the top honor of Most Disruptive Technology Award at the 2014 Innovative Solutions Consortium/Loudon County Public Safety Challenge as well as recognition from several print and media sources. We believe the time has come to move SMS to the forefront of public sector communications. Visit us at http://www.text2them.com for public safety and other applications.
Carahsoft Technology Corp. is the trusted Government IT solutions provider. As a top-ranked GSA Schedule Contract holder, Carahsoft serves as the master government aggregator for many of its best-of-breed technology vendors, supporting an extensive ecosystem of software manufacturers, value-added resellers, system integrators, and consulting partners committed to helping government agencies select and implement the best solution at the best possible value.
The company's dedicated Solutions Divisions proactively market, sell and deliver Adobe, VMware, Symantec, EMC, F5 Networks, Open Source, HP, SAP, and Innovative and Intelligence products and services, among others. Carahsoft is consistently recognized by its partners as a top revenue producer, and is listed annually among the industry's fastest growing firms by CRN, Inc., Washington Technology, The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, and SmartCEO. Visit us at http://www.carahsoft.com.
For more information:
Alvin Butler, President/CEO
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