City Corner: Cell phone owners can get emergency notifications
May 30, 2010 at 12:30 a.m.
Q: I no longer use a land line, I use a cell phone exclusively. During the heavy rains that fell on May 15, I did not receive the emergency notification warning me to stay at home. Can I get my cell phone registered to receive those emergency notification calls?
A: Yes. The Victoria Office of Emergency Management has a new service contractor - Global Connect - that makes notification calls to our residents in emergency situations. Anyone who uses a cell phone, has an unlisted number, or is new to the Victoria area, should register their phone number so they will receive notification calls during emergencies including floods, hurricanes, chemical emergencies and dangerous weather conditions.
Any resident or business with a listed telephone number should be in the system data base, but it never hurts to call and register your land lines too. Thanks to the Golden Crescent Area Information Center, registering your phone number is easy.
Just call 2-1-1 and tell the operator you want to register your phone number to receive emergency notifications. You can also register your phones online at the web site of the Victoria Office of Emergency Management: http://www.victoriatx.org/oem/index.asp. If you have any questions about registering your home or business phone numbers to receive emergency notifications, contact the Victoria Office of Emergency Management at 361-485-3362.
Q: When does the next Civilian Fire Academy class begin?
A: The sixth Civilian Fire Academy begins on Monday, June 28. This free, 10-week academy is for people who want to experience what life is like for firefighters.
Participants will undergo training to fight test fires, rappel down walls, use firefighting bunker gear, use the Jaws of Life and other firefighting tools. Educational sessions include the history of the Victoria Fire Department, a brief overview of the incident command structure used during emergencies, emergency communications, hazardous materials response and other topics.
The academy meets every Monday night from June 28 through Aug. 30. The academy is limited to 20 people and reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a spot for the Academy, contact the Life Safety Division of the Fire Department at 485-3460 or visit the web site of the Life Safety Department at http://www.victoriatx.org/fire/lifesafety.asp.
Q: Are new laws being enforced with regards to seatbelts in cars?
A: Yes. New Texas vehicle laws passed in 2009 are being enforced. All passengers, including adults in the back seat, now must be buckled up, and children younger than 8 years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. The Victoria Police Department is joining forces with the Texas Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies across Texas, during this year's annual Click It or Ticket campaign; unbuckled drivers and passengers and drivers whose children who aren't properly secured will be ticketed. Fines range from $25 to $250 plus court costs. Seat belts have long been considered the most important safety equipment in a car crash, but now they can also save drivers from having to pay an expensive ticket.
Q: Does the city issue the new vehicle registration stickers for automobiles?
A: I get this question almost every day. No, motor vehicle registration stickers are issued by the Victoria County Tax Assessor/Collector at 205 N. Bridge St., Suite 101. You can visit their website at http://www.victoriacountytx.org/departments/tax/tax.htm for details on how to renew your vehicle registration online, or call at 576-3671 for additional information.
Send your questions and comments for any city department or activity to City of Victoria, Public Information Office, P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902, or firstname.lastname@example.org.