Police Have an Urgent Request for Rural Arizona Homeowners
Accurate Rural Address Visibility
I live a in a rural area, so I don't get a lot of deliveries. I recently found a service that delivers groceries to my home. I was thrilled, but the process quickly uncovered a problem I hadn't considered before: the visibility of my street address.
The grocery delivery driver struggled to find our house and the GPS software she was using sent her to the wrong place. That's when we realized, my street address was not only missing a number, but it was also extremely hard to find.
A Visible Address Ensures a Quick Response in an Emergency
Natural disasters can happen all the time. With wildfires and other emergencies happening year-round, it's important that first responders are able to contact homeowners and residents as quickly and efficiently as possible.
911Ready.org has some tips on the best way to help emergency responders find your home when minutes count. One of the best ways to ensure help can arrive and find you a quickly as possible is to follow these simple steps by following the 9-1-1 Partner Checklist.
1. (Number) Size Matters
First, make sure drivers can easily read your address from the street.
"Install 3-inch-high white reflective numbers on a dark background on both sides of your mailbox," the checklist advises. That's great advice if you live in a place where your mailbox is situated near the road.
If you don't have a mailbox outside of your home, they advise:
If you use community mailboxes rather than individual mailboxes, consider mounting your address on both sides of a post near the roadside.
If you're mounting your numbers on a post, increase the size by at least one inch to 4-inch-high numbers, and use white, reflective lettering. Be sure to locate the post near the road.
Self-adhesive address numbers and kits can be purchased at local hardware stores.
2. Do a Drive-By to Make Sure Your House Numbers Can Be Seen
Reality-check your work. Be sure to drive down your street in both directions and make sure you can easily find your house numbers. If it isn't clear which house the numbers belong to, add an arrow for clarification.
3. Post Twice if You Share a Driveway
If you live a on a long or shared driveway, post your house numbers at least twice. Once near the driveway entrance and again outside your home.
4. Clear Obstructions from View
Make sure vegetation and other obstructions don't get in the way of viewing your house numbers from the road. You may have to trim trees or bushes or clear away vegetation to keep the numbers visible.
5. Illumination is Key
If you live on a dark road, you may want to consider illumination. First responders may have to find you at night, so double-check the visibility of your house numbers when it's dark.
Make sure the numbers you choose are highly contrasting against the background and easy to see. If you're struggling to see the numbers, emergency personnel will, too. Consider adding a solar powered light to make it easier to spot.
If you'd like more information on properly setting up your street address, here's a handy checklist to get you started.