Pearl River County E-911 Addressing asking for assistance


Carolyn Nelson (left) and Ruth Preston share information

Carolyn Nelson, the newly appointed manager for E-911 Addressing and Permitting for Pearl River County, held a meeting in Picayune to get the word out on her team’s focus. Representatives from the City of Picayune, Picayune Police Department, Picayune Fire Department, Pearl River County Sheriff's Department, Pearl River County Emergency Management, Pearl River County Tax Assessor, Pearl River County Information Technology, Coast Electric Power, and Mississippi Power gathered at the Chimney Square facility for an update and to share ideas about the county's E-911 addressing initiative.

Nelson, who has been in the role for approximately four months, said “We have a lot of incorrect addresses. Today’s technology will help and the public’s help to get them corrected. We need to fix what we’ve got and move forward.”

Nelson pointed out here is an existing ordinance in Pearl River County requiring residents to post their numbers (pertaining to the address) on their house and their mailbox, and if the house is on a private driveway, the resident must place a sign at the beginning of the driveway using reflective numbers.

Nelson told the group that some changes are coming very soon.

“We are going to get extremely busy with this project and will begin enforcing the ordinance,” Nelson shared.

Ruth Preston, also with E-911 Addressing and Permitting, shared the problems she has found in the current process. Preston said that one of the biggest problems is the absence of correct information in the existing E-911 database.

Preston said “According to the ordinance, all utility companies are to require an E-911 serial number before furnishing services to an address. This applies to both new and existing structures.”

She thanked the Pearl River Central Water Association and Picayune Water for their cooperation because they always have their customers call E-911 to get the serial number before issuing services.

Preston said that is important to know if a residence is uninhabited especially when emergency personnel are being dispatched a residence. This information is stored in the E-911 database and helps identifying if lives are at risk when emergency services are needed.

Preston identified another problem which deals with mobile homes not being registered on the tax rolls correctly. This is compounded when ownership changes hands, but the power is simply transferred to another name with an update to the E-911 database.

Nelson said that she is asking for help from all utility, emergency management personnel, and citizens to help populate the database with accurate information.

“There are people in the county who don’t want to be found, but as soon as emergency comes about and they can’t be found, they are the first to complain,” Nelson added.

It was pointed out in the meeting that many addresses need re-addressing, but at this time, that is not the focus of her team’s efforts.

“We need people to help us validate their addresses so that in the end everyone will be safe. That’s our focus. Solicit help from everyone to get it right,” Nelson stated.

Nelson also stated that the county is working on getting a 311 in place in the near future for non-emergency calls for citizens.

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