Emergency Preparedness Communication System

Connect
The City of La Marque has selected the Connect-CTY mass notification service from Blackboard Connect Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB). The city conducted its 1st community-wide test call on Tuesday, December 30, 2008.

Purpose

La Marque implemented the Connect-CTY service to provide city officials the ability to communicate with residents regarding time sensitive incidents, which may include planned and unforeseen public safety matters.

"We are constantly looking for ways to improve communication with residents," said Robert Ewart, Former City Manager. "Informing residents immediately and accurately in time sensitive situations will help prevent the spread of misinformation, prevent injuries and streamline our recovery."

Service Abilities
The Connect-CTY service allows officials to record, send and track personalized voice messages to thousands of residents, businesses, and local agencies in just minutes, through a single phone call. The city can also send text messages to cell phones, PDAs, email accounts, and TTY / TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired. The service requires no additional hardware; it can be used from any computer with Internet access or just a telephone, ensuring that officials can send vital messages from wherever they are located.

Reach Specific Groups
City administrators can target messages to an unlimited number of groups - everything from mobilizing emergency response teams to coordinating efforts with necessary agencies or volunteers. Authorized users also can use a map on the Connect-CTY system to contact specific geographical locations, sending messages only to the residents within select neighborhoods when needed.

"With the Connect-CTY service, we will be able to reach out to citizens directly regarding any time-sensitive issue, such as a hurricane, water leak or road closure," said Ewart. "I strongly urge residents to register their contact information into the secure Connect-CTY service database to make sure they are ready to receive important information at any given time."

Register
Publicly available primary residential and business phones in La Marque will automatically be included in the system. However, residents can opt-in to provide their complete information (up to 3 phone numbers and 2 email addresses) and indicate if they have a TTY / TDD device by visiting the Connect-CTY sign up page. Your information is safe and secure on this website.

Those without Internet access can have their information added into the system by calling 409-938-9229. Residents with call blocking services can make sure to receive the city's time sensitive calls by adding 409-938-9216 to their approved number list.

Words from Connect-CTY President
"The best way to keep residents informed and, therefore, safe is through communication, and the Connect-CTY service makes it easy," said Brendan Cotter, President of Connect-CTY. "With the Connect-CTY service, administrators have a powerful tool for mass communication without having to purchase new computers, software and telephone lines."