How to Let 911 Know You Can’t Hear

A few months ago, I wrote a post about emergency preparedness for people with hearing loss:  Emergency Preparedness for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Tips for Coping with Natural and Man-Made Disasters

This week I received some additional valuable information from Matthew Puvogel, the Ready Outreach Coordinator for the City’s Office of Emergency Management, who was one of the speakers at our Sept. 17 HLAA Chapter meeting on emergency preparedness for the deaf and hard of hearing. I will reprint below. (To reread the post, click on the title.)  Many thanks to Mr. Puvogel for providing this important information.

“Provided below are some resources that you could reach out to for 911 if you have a hearing disability.  

Smart 911:

Smart 911 is an online resource consumers can sign up with. They create a profile, add relevant information such as address, phone number plus other optional information. They can also add additional phone numbers that are associated with their household, cell or landline. More importantly, they can include information about their medical condition, disabilities or access and functional needs. Once they submit their profile, Smart 911 forwards that information to the appropriate PSAP (public safety answering point) which is the local 911 call center that services the phone numbers associated with the consumer’s profile. When a 911 call is placed from any of those numbers, all submitted information (including medical, disability or access and functional needs) is displayed on the screen at the 911 center and would be communicated to the responding agencies. This service is free of charge. For more information go to www.smart911.com.

Another resource is Rapid SOS:

Rapid SOS allows consumers to text to 911. When signing up, the consumer has the opportunity to enter specific information including if they have some form of hearing loss. There is a fee for this service. For more information go to www.rapidsos.com.”

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