Bucks County Upgrades Emergency Notification System
Bucks County is replacing its ReadyNotifyPA emergency notification system with the upgraded ReadyBucks system, which will be used to alert subscribers before and during a major emergency. It can also be tailored by subscribers to deliver other alerts, such as weather, health, crime and community notifications. Bucks County residents, businesses and organizations are encouraged to register at www.BucksCounty.org/readybucks to receive the alerts.
This mass notification system, which is managed by the vendor Everbridge, will allow Bucks County Emergency Services to contact thousands of residents and business in a matter of seconds, perhaps at times when those seconds are crucial. Subscribers have the ability to opt in and opt out at any time for the types of alerts they want. The key, however, is they must register to participate.
ReadyBucks offers the flexibility for residents to choose the type of information they want to receive, ranging from severe weather information to road closures. The system also can note any functional and access needs information that would be important to first responders in the event of an emergency. Specific municipality information – notifications and news for residents in any of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities – can also be requested by residents when they sign up for the service.
In addition to the County and municipal levels, multiple school districts within Bucks are exploring the use of ReadyBucks as a notification tool for winter weather delays and closures.
Subscribers to Bucks County’s previous notification system, ReadyNotifyPA, have received instructions about how to register on ReadyBucks.
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)
Organized by FEMA, IPAWS is the nation's alert and warning infrastructure. It provides an effective way to alert and worn the public about emergencies using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, and other public alerting systems from a single interface. IPAWS is used to send notifications for three alert categories--Presidenial, AMBER and Imminent Threat. Click for more information on the IPAWS System.
Special Needs Registry
Advance planning and preparedness for emergencies are especially important for people with special needs, such as those who can't receive, understand or act upon emergency protective orders. Emergency responders must be able to rapidly identify the location, accessibility, and mobility requirements of individuals with special needs.
The Special Needs Registry is a free, voluntary, and strictly confidential program designed to help individuals who would have difficulty during an emergency because of physical or cognitive limitations, language barriers, or lack of transportation. Individuals or their caregivers may register by accessing www.specialneedspa.org or contacting the Bucks County Emergency Management Agency office at 215-340-8700. The information collected will not be available to the public and will be held securely and accessed only for the purpose of emergency response and planning.
Participating counties include Bucks, Montgomery and Chester.
Emergency Preparedness Guide
Are you Ready? And In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness is available online from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This publication offers a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness for individuals, families, and communities and provides important information on specific hazards such as floods, hurricanes, winter storms, and terrorism.
Additional emergency preparedness information is available on-line from FEMA or from Bucks County at www.BucksCounty.org/readybucks.
National Flood Insurance Program
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary source for flood insurance in the U.S.
Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories, including New Hope Borough, participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities.
Property owners are required to purchase flood insurance to get secured financing to buy, build, or improve structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA's). Lending institutions that are federally regulated or federally insured must determine if the structure is located in a SFHA and must provide written notice requiring flood insurance.
Flood insurance is available to any homeowner, renter, or business owner located in a community participating in the NFIP. Flood insurance can be purchased from a licensed private insurance company or an independent property and casualty insurance agent. Talk to an insurance agent if you have questions, would like additional information, and/or are ready to purchase a flood insurance policy. Your policy will take effect 30 days after your purchase.
If your insurance agent is unfamiliar with the NFIP or is not licensed to sell National Flood Insurance, you have several additional options: