Letter: Misusing ‘all call’
Many of us “trusted” when we signed up for Buckland’s emergency reverse 911 program that emergency notification was the only intended use. How did something so good go so wrong? And, why was it solely promoted at Selectboard meetings for the public to enroll in Buckland’s emergency reverse 911 program yet not disclosing that non-essential calls would also be transmitted?
Too often my phone readout says in the evening or on the weekend, “you’ve got voice mail from Buckland Town Hall”; so it must be a Buckland reverse 911 EMERGENCY ALERT so I’d better listen to the message immediately! Once again, I was tricked into hearing a non-emergency message coming from my Town Hall’s phone number. This time it was a holiday/schmolidays event. What? I don’t even know what a schmoliday is! But, I am certain it is not an emergency.
The “cry-wolf” effect usually takes place when the public no longer trusts the integrity of a program; it may have already started. It’s a shame the word emergency has been compromised because Buckland’s reverse 911 “real” emergency was a valuable asset. I did not sign up for a mishmash of non-essential notifications calls and sometimes from non-elected citizens to boot. I have gone to Town Hall and asked to be removed from those pesky non-essential calls, without success. Unfortunately, the only option left is to request to be completely removed from the Buckland 911 call list and hope my friends will call me if I need to evacuate!
Remember several years after 9/11 how disastrous and ineffective the federal government’s false “ORANGE” alerts became? In my opinion, a child missing, a toxic train derailment, flash flood warnings are legitimate. This holiday/schmoliday thing — not even close!
The White House has it right: eliminate false alerts. Keep it simple!