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The importance of house numbers

September 29, 2012
By Tammy VanOverbeke - Lyon County Emergency Management director , Marshall Independent

"911. What is the address of your emergency?"

These are the words that you will most likely hear if you call 911 in this area. Easy question with an easy answer, right?

Imagine for a moment that you are in immediate need of law enforcement, fire department or an ambulance. It's 3 in the morning and you have an emergency! So you give the 911 operator your house number and street name, right? And then you wait, seconds turn to minutes and more minutes and you need helpNOW! Meantime, the ambulance, or police officer or firefighters are going up and down your block trying to find your home.

What in the world is the problem!

Seems like half of the homes in the area were repainted or resided or something this past summer. After the storm damage the past couple of summers, construction folks have been on almost every street. How many folks put their house numbers back on the house? Is the house now almost the same colors as the numbers? Are the numbers on a decorative rock in some obscure area of the yard? Are the numbers on your mailbox and not on the house at all?

I know, everyone knows where you live, right? Every police officer, firefighter and ambulance person has it memorized. The ambulance was there eight months ago, so now they all know exactly where you are.

Take a moment to drive through a neighborhood sometime after the sun has gone down and try to find a certain address that is unknown to you. It is not very easy.

Emergencies are not planned or scheduled and can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Yes, even to you!

Do your part to help yourself and have your house numbers displayed near the front door, under a light in a size and color that is easily visible from the street.

And if you live in a rural area, it is your responsibility to maintain your blue house number sign that is near your driveway. Keep the weeds away, don't use it to support an old wagon wheel and don't attach some kind of sign to it. Don't let it get covered with snow this winter.

At any moment, minutes can make a difference in your life, or the life of a loved one. Take a few minutes to make a difference now.



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