Boone County adds new software assistance for emergency response

1 year 9 months 2 weeks ago Monday, September 26 2016 Sep 26, 2016 Monday, September 26, 2016 5:33:00 PM CDT September 26, 2016 in News
By: Joe Gjata, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA—Boone County Emergency Management has implemented a new tool to help citizens in time of emergency. 

The software, called Smart Prepare, provides accurate and timely information to emergency personnel to access user profiles during disaster events.

Tom Hurley, deputy director for Boone County Emergency Management, said Smart Prepare is free and open to everyone who lives and works in Boone County.

“It allows for emergency responders to a have bit more depth as to what they’re going to and what ailments might be there,” Hurley said.

Hurley mentioned Smart Prepare is also confidential and self-identifiable so citizens can decide exactly what information the management staff is permitted to view.

A main goal for the software is to increase efficiency and resource allocation in time of emergency.

“For example, if someone is on dialysis, we’re able to better our resources for that person and make sure that they receive the assistance,” Hurley said. “And perhaps quicker than someone who is relatively healthy.”

Hurley said citizens can go to smart911.com to set up a profile that is completely confidential.

The idea is “by being aware that they are in need of a critical service, it allows us to allocate those resources rather than going door-to-door haphazardly coming across that person,” Hurley said.

Smart Prepare is up and running in Boone County, but it has yet to be deployed. Hurley said it is only used during disasters.

Smart Prepare has been tested nationwide in large metropolitan areas and is part of a larger system including Rave notification and Smart 9-1-1. Hurley mentioned the broader system is used by universities, as well.

Christian Basi, associate director for MU News Bureau, said the university recently purchased the Rave Alert system at a discounted price because they bought it in conjunction with the county.

He said both the county and the university have specific individuals they can contact in case of emergency, but the system software is the same.

“The system itself is much more user-friendly, and we hope that this will mean we are able to create and send those messages more efficiently,” he said.

Hurley noted the significant discount came about from being an early subscriber.

“We’re able to maximize the benefits on that to help our citizens,” he said.

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