Roger Couch puts up his new address on the railing of his front porch Friday afternoon. The reflective address sign was sent out with a packet of information about the new address system in Scott County. Clifford Jeffery photo.
GATE CITY - Scott County residents are changing addresses this spring.
Most everyone - both in the towns and the country - is getting new addresses as part of the county's conversion to a 911 address system.
Tim Addington, E-911 director, said the address conversion is coming down to the final stages.
"We lack the big three, Gate City, Weber City and Duffield, which have not yet been converted by the Postal Service," he said.
The U.S. Postal Service has entered the addresses into its database that is subscribed to by bulk mail companies.
Those companies will get those 911 addresses, even if the residents have not officially been notified of the change in address, Addington said.
The process of double-checking addresses takes a little longer than just giving out the addresses, Addington said.
Anderson and Associates of Johnson City is given notice of each new address in Scott County, he said. The architect and engineering agency then double-checks the addresses provided by the post office with those given by E-911.
Finally, residents receive their official notification, along with a picture of their home or business.
That is the final quality control measure, Addington said. If the picture does not match, they need to contact the 911 office.
Once all the addresses have been verified, the 911 center will have access to the address of each person who calls the center from a land line.
Right now, a person has to be able to direct emergency personnel. If they don't know the address, they have to give directions.
But when the system is complete, the phone number will carry information about the caller's location.
"(Embarq) has to enter those numbers into their system," Addington said. It will be six months down the road until that is completed.
"The big thing we want to get word out about is that the Postal Service has not completely verified their data, but they are releasing letters," he said. "If residents have any questions about the address listed in the letter, they should call the E-911 office. We are the addressing agent for the entire county."
Besides the official notification from the post office, residents will also receive a packet from the county with a page of stick-on address labels, and a new house number sign.
As soon as people are notified of their address change, they should begin contacting friends and family, and agencies that need their correct address.
The post office is expected to deliver mail to the rural route addresses for a year after the change, but staff at other agencies may not be as understanding, he said.
Residents need to make address changes with agencies like insurance companies, voter registration, banks and Department of Motor Vehicles.
Residents should also post their address on the building in four-inch durable reflective material, Addington said. Residents are encouraged to post the new numbers on both sides of the mail boxes, too.
For more information or to report errors in a 911 address, call E-911 at (276) 386-7220.