In an effort to improve response times and get a better grasp of an outage area, the City of Harrisonville is announcing a change to its procedures for reporting “major” power outages.
Currently, customers are asked to call the Harrisonville Police Department dispatch line to report an outage. This process does not cause issues during small outages but in major outage situations it can tie up the incoming lines for the department, causing emergency callers to sit on hold, or get a busy signal, residents needing immediate assistance to be kept on hold or for either call to be dropped entirely.
Several of these issues were seen during the major power outage that followed the snow storm on Jan. 11-12.
From now on, the Police Department will be placing a recorded message at the front of their dispatch phone lines, informing residents that the Harrisonville Electric Department is aware of the outage and has begun efforts to restore power. From here, the message will direct callers in one of two ways. Those needing to report an outage will be asked to email their specific address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those looking for assistance with a police emergency will be asked to remain on the line and will then be able to speak with a dispatcher.
Once again, these procedures will only be put into place during a “major” power outage. During smaller outages, residents are asked to call police dispatch (816) 380-8940 to report their outage.
The City hopes these changes will allow officials to better assist residents who are without power, target specific issues and areas during major outages and keep police department phone lines open for those in need of emergency assistance.