Apps and Systems to Save Lives in Emergencies
The safety and security of our residents is our No.1 priority. That’s why we spend over 51 percent of our annual budget on public safety. But even with our best efforts, we cannot be everywhere at all times; we need you to be engaged. Internet technology isn’t just great for sharing the latest cute cat videos -- it can also keep you safe. Here are of some smartphone apps and systems to keep you and your family safe.
Did you know that when you call 911 from your cellphone, it doesn’t go directly to the Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center here in Strongsville? That’s right, your call is routed to Cuyahoga County’s Call Center (CECOMS) and then transferred to the appropriate city. This was good a decade ago, but the little phones we care are actually much more powerful and capable. It’s taken a while, but some of the big players are taking notice. Google’s latest version of their Phone App will now show you the location you are calling from. You can take it a bit further by installing an application like RapidSOS Haven (Android, iOS). This application knows your location, knows where the closest 911 center is and sends your location information to the 911 dispatcher when you make the emergency call. This gets you quicker response times, and that can save lives. In addition, it sends your family members notifications when you have a problem.
Other applications like Kitestring and Family Locator can let your friends and family know where you are. Kitestring checks up on you when you’re out and alerts your friends if you don’t respond. Family Locator is a little big brother, but that’s who it’s designed for – so you can keep track of where a family member is. There are other feature that make it so you can share to-do lists and get alerts when family members are nearby.
Can’t Talk – Text to 911
Starting on July 1, 2017 you can now text (SMS) to 911. This can be a great way to get a hold of Emergency Services when you can’t verbally communicate. It’s always better to call 911 via phone or an app like Haven mentioned above, but this is now an option.
Reverse 911 / Notification System
We highly recommend that you are registered for ReadyNotify. ReadyNotify is an emergency notification system used by Cuyahoga County and participating municipalities to issue notifications to the public. You can expect to receive notifications about emergency events, news, closures, water boil alerts, safety messages and other information. NOTE: As of January 2019, new registrations were not being taken as the county upgrades to a new notification system. Sign-ups for the new system will be announced in early 2019.
Strongsville has outdoor notification systems at our sports parks and the commons. These system are activated by experts at the National Weather Service. These PA systems are designed to get people indoors and out of harm’s way. But if you are already in your home, there are some more effective options.
NOAA Weather App. This app is a weather station right on your device with weather radar and alerts. Real-time animated weather radar images on a highly interactive map enhanced with severe weather warnings provide accurate an weather forecast and don’t let bad weather take you by surprise.
Purchase an emergency weather radio. These can be purchased for $30 or less on some online sites. These radios have backup batteries and can receive weather alerts immediately. Look for ones that have S.A.M.E. reception features to get only localized alerts and information.
Medical Information Apps
Having your medical information at your fingertips can be a life saver. Relaying this critical information to first responders can be difficult in a medical crisis. You can avoid this by having a secure application on your phone. Medical ID , ICE Contact and ICE are a few of these type of applications to check out.
City TV, Radio and Social Media
The City of Strongsville will activate alerts when needed on Channel 21 / 1020, via our Facebook page or via our radio system at 1640AM. You can also watch a live stream of events on our webpage here.