Monday, April 9, 2018

Smart911 Could Help Families Affected By Autism Save Time and Lives During An Emergency

Smart911 is a free service that allows families to provide detailed information about their households to their local 9-1-1 center and first responders. Smart911 Safety Profiles can provide as much or as little information as a family is comfortable disclosing. 

The following clip from Good Morning America illustrates why every city, town and village in America should be using the system, as well as how every family could benefit from it. 

For families that have a loved one with autism or other disabilities, the service is a real asset that can save time and lives in the event of an emergency. Imagine if your child eloped or went missing. You could save precious minutes that could lead to your child being swiftly located by having a photograph and description of your child already on file with first responders.

The following audio of a 9-1-1 call from a mom whose missing  5 year old daughter was found unharmed because first responders were able to act quickly because she had submitted a Smart911 Safety Profile.

Many families affected by autism wisely teach their children with autism how to call 9-1-1 as part of their emergency preparation plans. But what if your child was nonverbal or minimally verbally, or verbal but unable to speak clearly because of fear, anxiety or panic in an emergency situation?

The following audio shares how having a Smart911 Safety Profile on file helped first responders save a stranded woman even though the 9-1-1 operator she’d could not hear her speaking over the telephone.

I strongly encourage families affected by autism to create a Smart911 Safety Profile, especially if your child wanders, elopes, behaves aggressively or has other complicating conditions such as mental illness, anxiety, epilepsy or aggressive behavior. Some of the helpful information you could include with your profile are maps of your property, floor plans, photographs and lists of words or phrases your child finds comforting or calming.

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