Emergency Preparedness - Archive

Virginia Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday: May 25-31

May 14, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

The 2015 hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, 2015. Though hurricanes don’t typically make landfall in Fairfax County, the effects of high winds and flooding can wreak havoc on our community and businesses. To assist in preparing for hurricane season, Virginia will hold its Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment Sales Tax Holiday May 25-May 31.  Batteries, generators up to $1000, chainsaws up to $340, smoke detectors, first aid kits, flashlights and more will be tax-free.

More information: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stay-informed/hurricanes/sales-tax-holiday

Please share this information with your employees and networks, encouraging others to take the time to:

  • Check emergency kits at home, work and in vehicles – visitwww.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency for lists and helpful tips.
  • Review family emergency plans – visit www.ReadyNOVA.orgto make your own plan.
  • Practice family evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures – don’t forget pets and kids!

Now is the best time to prepare for hurricane season and other emergencies!

DOWNLOAD VA-HurricaneSaleFlyer

National Weather Service helping those with hearing problems stay informed

May 12, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

KPAX.com CH 8TV
Posted: May 09, 2015

MISSOULA, Montana – Alerts to dangerous weather can keep you out of trouble, unfortunately, people who are deaf or hard of hearing may have trouble receiving audible weather alerts.

The National Weather Service has recognized this as a problem and is trying to educate the community on alternatives to audible alerts.

NWS holds at least two meetings a year like the one Friday to answer questions, and demonstrate other tools like mobile apps that can make these alerts available for everybody.

Read more . . . Watch Captioned Video NWS

Click here to see NOAA Wether Radio (NWR) information for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

 

 

Opportunity for Stakeholder Input on Broadband Access and Adoption

May 7, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

 

The Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council. Stakeholders have the opportunity to review the Federal Register Notice and submit written comments by e-mail to BOCrfc2015@ntia.doc.gov on or before 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 10, 2015.

A summary of the Federal Register notice is below, and stakeholders can view the full Federal Register Notice at  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/29/2015-09996/broadband-opportunity-council-notice-and-request-for-comment.

Summary: “In furtherance of the Presidential Memorandum entitled Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training, which established the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council.1 The Council’s objectives are to: (i) Engage with industry and other stakeholders to understand ways the government can better support the needs of communities seeking to expand broadband access and adoption; (ii) identify regulatory barriers unduly impeding broadband deployment, adoption, or competition; (iii) survey and report back on existing programs that currently support or could be modified to support broadband competition, deployment, or adoption; and (iv) take all necessary actions to remove these barriers and realign existing programs to increase broadband competition, deployment, and adoption.2 We welcome input from all interested parties, including the stakeholder groups identified in the Presidential Memorandum.”

 

 

 

Official FCC Blog – Direct Video Communication . . .

April 17, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

Direct Video Communication: Access for People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Disabled in an IP World

by: Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman
April 14, 2015 – 02:27 PM

A few months ago, I received a note from a woman in New Mexico, recounting her recent experience in making a 911 call. She had fallen in her home, alone, badly hurt and bleeding.  She dialed 911, reached an emergency center, an ambulance was dispatched and she was taken to a medical facility.

You might be wondering why someone would write to the Chairman of the FCC about a 911 call. The reason is that this was an emergency for someone who is deaf and the call was made through Video Relay Service (VRS), a program administered by the FCC. The woman had never before had a reason to make an emergency call and, when she made the call, she wondered whether the technology would work.

Most of us take for granted that when we make a phone call, the call goes through. You call from any type of device to any phone number. You don’t think about how the call travels – via circuit or packet, time division or code division, copper or fiber, 1.9 GHz or 700 MHz Networks are interconnected. Telecommunications software is increasingly interoperable.

Now, imagine that you hear with your eyes. You contact friends and family by video calling and your native language is American Sign Language (ASL).  And when you call a hearing person who does not speak your language, the call is automatically routed over the Internet through a VRS sign language interpreter who conveys what you want to communicate to the hearing person.  The VRS interpreter voices everything you sign to the hearing person and signs back everything that the hearing person says.

Read more  . . .Direct Video Communication

Job Announcements: Disability Integration Advisor Positions

March 26, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Employment

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA is now accepting applications for two open positions: (1) Disability Integration Advisor; and (2) Disability Integration Advisor with a specialty in American Sign Language (ASL). The open period for these announcements is from Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015. For full information, including a description of duties, please review the job summaries below.

Apply using the following links via the USAJobs.gov portal:

  1. Disability Integration Advisor
  2. Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Blair at shannon.blair@fema.dhs.gov or by phone number 800-879-6076.

Job TitleDisability Integration Advisor
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-020-RSV
Salary Range: $40.37 to $40.37 / Per Hour
Open Period: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015
Series & Grade: AD-0301-00
Position Information: Temporary – Intermittent employment not to exceed 2 years
Duty Locations:  MANY vacancies – Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Who May Apply: All United States Citizens
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: No

Duties:

As a Disability Integration Advisor in FEMA’s Reservist Program, some of the duties you will be responsible for include:

  • Participating as part of a team in facility site evaluation for Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) within 48 hours of a validated State’s request.
  • Working collaboratively and providing guidance to External Affairs, Community Relations, Individual Assistance, Recovery and other program areas that interface with the community.
  • Providing guidance for State and local governmental agencies to assist with ensuring people with disabilities and/or other access and functional needs, have equal access to programs and services.
  • In collaboration with Support Services Branch or designee, provides guidance & technical assistance to Individual Assistance, IT and Logistics staff to establish accessibility at Disaster Recovery Center locations.
  • Advising Support Services Branch and Equal Rights Advisors in the identification and evaluation of disability laws and regulations as they relate to space compliance in the various field locations.

Job TitleDisability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-019-RSV
Salary Range: $40.37 to $40.37 / Per Hour
Open Period: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015
Series & Grade: AD-0301-00
Position Information: Temporary – Intermittent employment not to exceed 2 years
Duty Locations:  MANY vacancies – Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Who May Apply: All United States Citizens
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: No

Duties:

As a Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty) in FEMA’s Reservist Program, you will be responsible for:

Providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation to meet the communications requirements of disaster survivors, FEMA employees, and the general public throughout emergency operations, programs and services while deployed to disasters.

Providing guidance regarding effective communication access in all phases of emergency response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness.

Providing interpreting services to achieve equal access to effective communication between Disability Integration Advisors, Disability Advisor Leads and Command and General Staff including:

  • Working collaboratively and providing guidance to Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator, External Affairs, Disaster Survivor Assistance, Individual Assistance, Recovery and other program areas that interface with the community.
  • Providing guidance for State and local governmental agencies to assist with ensuring people with disabilities have equal access to programs and services.
  • In collaboration with Support Services Branch or designee, provides guidance & technical assistance to Individual Assistance, Information Technology and Logistics staff to establish accessibility at Disaster Recovery Center and other field locations.

 

Indiana helps lead way in implementation of 911 texting

February 24, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

 

The Tribune
The Associated Press
February 22, 2015

 — All but four of Indiana’s 92 counties have signed on a system that allows phone users to send a text to 911 when they need emergency help, putting the state at the forefront of a technology that’s slowly making its way across the country.

Only Vermont and Maine have all counties accepting text messages to 911, the Palladium-Item reported (http://pinews.co/1vSsHlO ). Fifteen other states have a few counties each that participate in the “Text to 911″ system.

“It will eventually make it across the nation,” said Matthew Cain, deputy director of Wayne County Emergency Communications, which volunteered to be one of five pilot counties to explore the texting option. “It’s mainly geared toward the deaf community and the hard-of-hearing community, but it also benefits others when it’s unsafe to call.”

A federal order required all wireless carriers and text-messaging providers to allow users to send texts to local 911 dispatchers by the end of 2014.

In Indiana, only Lake, Jasper, Marion and Ripley counties have not accepted the system.

Cain said calling is still the best option for contacting 911 because communication is quicker between the dispatcher and the caller. But text messages are useful when a person has a hearing or speech impairment or when it’s unsafe for a person to speak, such as in cases of an abduction or domestic situation.

Rockingham, NC – UPDATE: 911 now just a text message away

January 15, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

yourdailyjournal.com
By Melonie Flomer

January 05. 2015

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County 911 now has the ability to receive text-to-911 messages through the four major wireless carriers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Donna Wright, director of Richmond County Emergency Services, said the elements have been in place for text-to-911 enhancement since May 20, when her department had all its requests for public safety answering points ready for when the carriers begin testing in July.

At that time, the service was active only in Durham County and its sole provider was Verizon. The Federal Communications Commission required that all wireless carriers provide the capability by Dec. 31.

“The text works just like a wireless call and will provide us with the latitude and longitude of the origin of the text,” Wright told the Daily Journal last summer. “From there, we can use the device’s GPS to triangulate that location. Even if the person is moving or being moved, we can see it. And it works regardless of how a person has their device’s GPS settings configured. We can still see it.”

Read More . . .

 

Job Announcement: Disability Integration Advisor – ASL Specialty

December 17, 2014 in Emergency Preparedness, Employment

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA is now accepting applications for a Disability Integration Advisor position with an American Sign Language (ASL) specialty. The open period for this announcement is from Monday, December 15, 2014 to Thursday, January 15, 2015.  To apply for this position or for full information, including key requirements and a description of duties, please click the following link to access the job announcement through USAJobs.govhttps://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/389257100.

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Blair at shannon.blair@fema.dhs.gov or by phone number 800-879-6076.

Job Title: Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-011-RSV

Salary Range
: $39.97 to $39.97 / Per Hour
Open Period: Monday, December 15, 2014 to Thursday, January 15, 2015
Series & Grade: AD-0301-00
Position Information: Temporary – Intermittent employment not to exceed 2 years
Duty Locations:  MANY vacancies – Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Who May Apply: All United States Citizens
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: No

Duties:
As a Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty) in FEMA’s Reservist Program, you will be responsible for:

Providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation to meet the communications requirements of disaster survivors, FEMA employees, and the general public throughout emergency operations, programs and services while deployed to disasters.

Providing guidance regarding effective communication access in all phases of emergency response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness.

Providing interpreting services to achieve equal access to effective communication between Disability Integration Advisors, Disability Advisor Leads and Command and General Staff including:

  • Working collaboratively and providing guidance to Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator, External Affairs, Disaster Survivor Assistance, Individual Assistance, Recovery and other program areas that interface with the community.
  • Providing guidance for State and local governmental agencies to assist with ensuring people with disabilities have equal access to programs and services.
  • In collaboration with Support Services Branch or designee, provides guidance & technical assistance to Individual Assistance, Information Technology and Logistics staff to establish accessibility at Disaster Recovery Center and other field locations.

Toronto police launch text 9-1-1 service for hearing impaired

December 9, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

Global News
By David Shum
Web Producer

TORONTO – Toronto police, along with emergency services partners, have announced the “T9-1-1″ texting service is now available in the City of Toronto.

T9-1-1 is a service that allows members of the public with hearing and speech impairments to call 9-1-1 during an emergency and interact with a 9-1-1 call-taker by text message.

Police say members of the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired (DHHSI) community must register with their wireless service provider to be eligible to use this service.

A special application allows the 9-1-1 call-taker to recognize the call as coming from a registered cell phone associated with a DHHSI member.

Police also want to remind people that they can only access 9-1-1 services from their registered cell phone and only in parts of Canada where the service has been deployed.

Watch Video

 

 

Officials say 911 texting service to report emergencies coming soon to Omaha, NE

November 11, 2014 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

 

Lincoln Journal Star
By ZACH PLUHACEK
November 08, 2014

LINCOLN, Nebraska — He always thought they were saying “lots of love.” It turns out, all those people who text messaged “LOL” to Mark Conroy were just laughing at him.

Conroy’s confusion about the acronym for “laugh out loud” is among a whole list of concerns he’ll need to address come December, when people in the Omaha and Kearney areas will be able to start texting 911 to report emergencies, the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1p8uik8 ) reported.

Text-to-911 service should go live around Omaha on Dec. 15, says Conroy, director of Douglas County’s 911 center. In Buffalo County, Sheriff Neil Miller expects the Kearney area’s system to be ready soon after.

Lincoln will have to wait.

“We don’t want your text message,” said Tom Casady, the city’s public safety director. “We can’t handle it.”

Lincoln and more than a dozen counties in Southeast Nebraska are in the process of replacing their individual 911 systems with a single hub that would route callers to their local 911 centers. The switch will take time and could initially cost upward of $1 million to $2 million, although it is intended to save money in the long run.

And while the new equipment should make enabling text-to-911 easier for Lincoln and its neighbors, Casady says he’s in no rush to adopt technology that is “not quite ready for primetime yet.”

Read More  . . .

Verizon 911 Texting in Frederick County, Md. to Expand

May 23, 2014 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

Your4state.com
05/19/2014 05:01 PM
Original Article

FREDERICK, Md. – Frederick County, Maryland is the sixth county in the country to implement 911 texting through Verizon, according to local emergency officials. They say they pushed to become one of the first last year and now the four major wireless carriers in the Country made the feature available.

“The Maryland School for the Deaf is located in Fredrick. We have a large population of deaf and hearing impaired so we’ve felt everyone needs access to 911, so we’ve been very proactive and been pushing to be a leader in texting 911 to allow everyone that direct access to 911,” said Chip Jewell, director of Frederick County emergency communications.

The Federal Communications Commission said they hope to expand the program once it’s been tested in places like Frederick County. Chip Jewell said he believes the texting systems should be available on all four major wireless carriers by the end of next year.

Read more . . .

What You Need to Know About Text-to-911

May 16, 2014 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

 

FCC’s  ASL & Captioned video on what you need to know about Text to 911

Click to goto FCC ASL captioned Video

Click to goto FCC.gov  ASL captioned Video
about TEXT to 911
(Video Not Mobile Phone Friendly)

http://www.fcc.gov/text-to-911

FCC.gov  Print Out Guide

Text-to-911 Guide (pdf)

You Can Now Text 9-1-1 in Case of Emergency

May 16, 2014 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/05/15/text-emergency-911/

Starting on Thursday, people in select locations across the country can text 9-1-1 with emergencies if they are unable to call them in.

The Federal Communications Commission is rolling out the service to make it easier to contact 9-1-1 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, have a speech disability or are in a situation in which making a call could be dangerous. The FCC’s website states that making a phone call is still the best option when possible, because it allows the person calling in to relay information more quickly. First responders can also triangulate the caller’s location with a phone call, something that can’t be done via text.

To that point, the FCC asks that anyone texting 9-1-1 provide information about the situation and his or her exact location. The providers supporting the service include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

The initial rollout [PDF] includes areas of Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. Though only people living in certain parts of those states can text 9-1-1 starting on Thursday, the FCC says anyone with a cellphone and enough service will be able to do so by the end of 2014.

Anyone who texts 9-1-1 in an area where emergency call centers do not yet support texts will receive a bounce-back message, informing them the text has not been sent and they should try to call instead.

Call centers are still updating their systems to be compatible with texts. According to the FCC’s site, anyone who wants to know whether their area has adopted the new technology can call their cellphone providers.

Association for Airline Passenger Rights Partners with Caption First for Access

May 8, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Transportation

 

Association for Airline Passenger Rights and Caption First Announce Partnership to Promote Greater Accessibility

May 06, 2014 from http://www.eturbonews.com/45444/association-airline-passenger-rights-and-caption-first-announce-AAPR-logo-300x300

The Association for Airline Passenger Rights, (AAPR) today announced a new partnership with Caption First, a leading communication access company that provides CART, captioning and
transcription. The AAPR-Caption First partnership will ensure that realtime captioning services are provided for all AAPR information and programs, thereby making them fully accessible for members who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Realtime captioning is the practice of converting the spoken word into instant text. The partnership also aims to identify best practices to be used within the aviation industry to ensure air travel is made more accessible for passengers with hearing impairments.

In February 2010, AAPR was the first airline passenger rights group to call on the U.S. Department of Transportation to require commercial air carriers to provide closed captioning or subtitles on all in-flight entertainment for passengers with hearing loss. While DOT requires that captioning be available on all safety and information-related videos, it does not enforce the same accessibility standard for in-flight entertainment, such as movies and television shows.

“We’re excited to team up with Caption First, who will be aiding us with the conversion of speech into text for all of our programmatic activities,” stated Brandon M. Macsata, Executive Director of the Association for Airline Passenger Rights, of the partnership with Caption First. “With our partnership, we’re taking the necessary steps to provide word-for-word services that are easy to use whenever, wherever and however needed. In other words, we’re leading by example.”

The seeds for the new partnership were sowed in December 2013, when Caption First served as one of the sponsors for the 1st Annual Airline Accessibility Conference. To learn more about the conference, or download a transcription of it, go to http://www.flyfriendlyskies.com.events.html.

“Caption First is delighted to partner with the Association for Airline Passenger Rights,” stated Patricia Graves, President of Caption First. “For too long the communication needs of passengers who are Deaf or hard of hearing have been ignored. We look forward to working with AAPR to create positive changes in the aviation industry.”

For more information about the Association for Airline Passenger Rights or its partnership with Caption First, please visit www.flyfriendlyskies.com or contact AAPR directly at info@flyfriendlyskies.com.

Virginia – May Sales Tax Holiday: Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment

May 1, 2014 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

When: Sunday, May 25, 2014 through Saturday, May 31, 2014

What’s Exempt: During this seven-day period, purchases of certain supplies and equipment needed for hurricane preparedness will be exempt from sales tax. Retailers may also choose to absorb the tax on other items during the holiday period, but they are responsible for paying the tax on those items to the Department of Taxation.

Other Information: