Emergency Officials and AT&T Urge Families to Establish a "Home Base" for Dialing 9-1-1
National Survey Shows Most Respondents Have Not Prepared a Home Emergency Plan
Dallas, Texas, July 7, 2009
AT&T* and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) today released survey findings showing the need for households to establish home emergency communications plans that include a “home base” with a corded landline phone in addition to a cell phone for making emergency calls. The findings show that while eight in ten respondents recognize the importance of having both a corded landline and cell phone in their home for use in emergencies, 68 percent do not have a comprehensive plan for dealing with home emergencies.
“More than ever, families need to be prepared for emergencies. Parents and other heads of households must be proactive in educating family members – especially children – about what to do in these situations,” said NENA Chief Executive Officer, Brian Fontes. “A big part of this is knowing about the options available for dialing 9-1-1. The more choices you have to reach 9-1-1 in an emergency, the better, and a corded landline phone should be one of those options. It provides the security of a home phone line connection to 9-1-1 so that in most cases first responders know your home address.”
The survey of 2,000 households in June was commissioned to measure respondents’ level of emergency planning and provide insight into their communications preparedness. It found that
many households recognize the importance of having several options to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency and have taken some basic steps to prepare themselves and family members for emergencies. However, most households have not implemented a detailed plan to ensure all members of the household are adequately prepared to contact emergency services and maintain communications with each other.
Key findings from the survey include:
- 80 percent felt that it is important to have both a corded landline and a cell phone in their home in case of emergency because it provides options to dial 9-1-1 reliably and quickly.
- 54 percent of those who said they have a landline in their home are not prepared with a corded phone to use in the event of a power outage. Corded landline phones that do not require a/c power for dial tone also work even when the power is out, an important contingency to build into home emergency plans.
- 68 percent of respondents do not have a comprehensive communications plan in place to deal with home emergencies. A home emergency communications plan includes establishing a “home base” for making emergency calls with a centrally located, easily accessible landline phone; designating a safe location within the home during an emergency and establishing a safe way out of the residence; conducting an inventory of communications items including all landline phones, wireless phones, batteries, and chargers; and making a list of emergency contact numbers. For households with children, additional elements include teaching them about proper use of the 9-1-1 system and making sure they know where the “home base” is for making calls to emergency services.
- 42 percent of respondents with children ages 3-12 were only somewhat confident or not confident that their child would know what to do in case of a home emergency.
- 27 percent of respondents’ children have not received instruction on how to dial 9-1-1 from home base during an emergency.
“At AT&T, we understand how important communications services are during an emergency, and our priority is to provide customers with reliable services and multiple options to stay in contact,” said Joey Schultz, AT&T vice president consumer marketing. “At home, a landline phone can serve as their reliable ‘home base’ in an emergency, and it can give consumers added peace of mind at an affordable price.”
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
About the National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
NENA serves the public safety community as the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. With more than 7,000 members in 48 chapters across the United States and around the globe, NENA promotes the implementation and awareness 9-1-1 and international three-digit emergency communications systems. NENA works with public policy leaders, emergency services and telecommunications industry partners, like-minded public safety associations, and other stakeholder groups to develop and carry out critical programs and initiatives, to facilitate the creation of an IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 system, and to establish industry leading standards, training, and certifications. Find out more at www.nena.org
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T │DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.
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