Emergency Notification Procedures

Power is out in Beekman today. NYSEG‘s electricity emergency phone line had a recorded message about the outage last night, and power was expected to be restored by 03:00 this morning. However, when we awoke it wasn’t.

I called NYSEG again, and the message indicated that they now expect service to be restored around 18:00 tonight. We listened to the radio to see if there was any news, and I heard a traffic report mention a transformer fire in Beekman. After a couple of phone calls, we found that part of the town had power, but the elementary school probably didn’t — their answering machine did not answer.

On the school calendar there’s a phone number labeled “School Call.” WTF is that? Whatever it is, the number is busy. Our jargon-fraught school district apparently hasn’t realized that they cannot communicate with the parents by way of the web, nor by way of an answering machine, if the power is out. Luckily, the telephone network is independently powered.

I realize that the district has some scaling issues because of the number of students, but a phone tree scales fairly well. Think of it as an organized rumor mill.