This news item expired on Thursday, December 15, 2022 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
E911 Addressing Specialist Mila White is doing her best to make a 911 address change as seamless as possible for residents. We all know what it’s like to try to get through to the right person when calling your local utility company to update an address. It can be frustrating, and when you are already going through a 911 change of address it can be even more frustrating. When Mila heard from some residents that they were spending close to two hours trying to connect with the right person at Duke Energy, she rolled up her sleeves, made some connections, and got to work to try to make the notification process easier for homeowners and residents.
Through a pilot project with Duke Energy’s business support team, Mila is working to set up a seamless process for the County to notify Duke when there is 911 change of address, as well as establishing a process to correct and confirm addresses when our addressing information differs from the utility’s. “Going through a 911 change of address is already a very cumbersome and confusing process for our residents and homeowners,” says Mila. “Any step that Buncombe County can take to make the process easier and to lessen the burden of notification for our residents is a win.”
As the County completed its scope of work on the statewide deployment of Next Generation 911 it opened more ways to communicate during an emergency, improved location accuracy, upgrades to on-scene information for first responders, multi-agency compatibility, and more. However, the process also meant some addresses in the County had to be changed to eliminate duplicate addresses on structures and duplicate address ranges on roads within certain community sections of Buncombe County. “While address changes may be unpopular, ultimately they are critical to assure faster response times, which translates into saved lives, especially in a global pandemic,” notes Planning Director Nathan Pennington.
Changing the necessary addresses was inadvertently causing extra stress from some residents and homeowners as they needed to update Duke Energy with their new information without a good point of contact. The new process means when an address is changed, Mila simply emails a support team and provides them with the change of address information. They provide feedback that the address has been updated within 48 hours or two business days. “I was really pleased when Duke contacted me by phone to get additional information. I felt like this is working. I am also able to provide address confirmation to their team when residents contact the County to say there is a discrepancy in the location address on their bill or associated with their account,” says Mila.
Mila’s hope is that this pilot program will help create a consistent model that will benefit Buncombe County residents as well as utility customers in other counties. “When agencies work together to make a process easier for residents, it’s a win for everyone involved,” says Pennington. “Mila’s persistence in working to pull all the details together here is not surprising, she is dedicated to our residents and has shown a real dedication to trying to make this as easy as possible for our residents and property owners.”
To learn more about E-911 addressing or contact Mila click here.
To verify you are using the correct address when calling 911 click here.