New E-911 director wants addresses properly displayed on homes, records updated

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

Pearl River County’s new E-911 Coordinator Carolyn Nelson is on a mission to update the county’s addressing system and to have all homes in the county properly marked.
That was the message shared with emergency responders, tax office personnel and other county and city employees Thursday as she held a meeting to get their input.
She said that county’s addressing system has some flaws, and some of the homes in this area are not properly listed in the computer system, if at all.
This fact, combined with the lack of properly labeled mailboxes and driveways in the county, makes it hard for her office, and, most of all emergency responders, to find homes.
Even if a home does not have a mailbox, the resident should take every effort to ensure their address is displayed clearly. That includes installing easy to see numbers on the front of the home if it is close to the road, or a blue sign with white reflective letters at least three inches tall for homes with long driveways.
One way to address the situation is to work with local utility companies to ensure they require an E-911 serial number issued by her office before they provide any utilities. Nelson said it would also help if the residents let her office know how many people live in the home and if any of them have medical issues. That way, if a fire occurs at the home emergency personnel will know if everyone made it out safe.
She also asked emergency personnel to notify her office if a home was destroyed by a fire so she can update her files and alert the tax office.
Pearl River County Code Official Kolby Davis said he is beginning to fine homeowners for not properly marking their home or mailbox because the issue appears to be worsening.
“There are a lot of people that don’t want to be found,” Davis said.
Nelson said it’s those people who get upset when they call 911 and the responders can’t locate their home.
E-911 and Building Permit Technician Ruth Preston said the fine is $50 for not having proper markings at a residence or business.
Fire Marshal Albert Lee asked that emergency responders and the community report instances of missing addresses so the problem can be fixed.

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