Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act Compliance for Your Business

Kari’s Law

Kari’s Law is named for Kari Hunt who was killed by her estranged husband in a motel room in Marshall, Texas in December of 2013. Ms. Hunt’s 9-year-old daughter had tried to dial 911 several times during the attack but was not able to because she did not know she had to first dial “9” to get an outbound line.

Through this tragedy, lawmakers realized there is a problem caused by many of the multi-line telephone systems typically found in hotels, offices, and universities. These systems require users to dial an additional digit to use an outside line — even when they are trying to call 911.

Congress enacted Kari’s Law in 2018. The legislation requires multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to be configured so dialing 911 directly connects to public safety. MLTS phone systems are typically found in enterprises such as office buildings, campuses, and hotels. These requirements went into effect on February 16, 2020.

If your telephone system requires your employees and other users to dial a number to get an outside line, your business must comply with this law.

Fortunately, most of today’s newer telecom systems meet Kari’s Law. However, it’s important to verify your system works as required and that the emergency dispatcher sees the correct information for the location of the phone from which 911 is dialed.


In addition to the direct dialing and notification requirements of Kari’s Law, the FCC has also created rules to improve the dispatchable location information associated with emergency calls from MLTS phone systems. In environments such as hotels, school campuses, warehouses, and multi-level office buildings, it can be difficult to find the exact location of a person calling 911. RAY BAUM’S Act was created to ensure faster and more accurate responses to 911 calls. Under RAY BAUM’S Act, “dispatchable location” data must be conveyed to emergency services for all 911 calls without further action required by the caller, regardless of the technology type.

This act will begin to go into effect on January 6, 2021, and January 6, 2022, depending on the nature of the service.

Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act Compliance

Your business needs to have a complete safety protocol in place for its facilities. Complying with 911 regulations will help you to properly plan for the safety of your onsite and remote employees. Additionally, failure to bring your business to compliance can result in large fines up to $10,000 and additional penalties of up to $500 per day of noncompliance.

To verify your phone system is compliant you’ll need to find the administrative phone number for your location’s 911 call center, likely known as the public safety answering point (PSAP), and ask what steps you need to take to verify that your location is compliant.

You’ll need to be sure that the following information is displayed for the 911 operator should someone need to call for emergency help:

 1. The name of your business

 2. The address from which you are calling

 3. The telephone number from which you are calling

This information needs to be verified for each outbound line in your building(s).

If your system is not able to reach 911 without dialing another number first, or if you’re not sure if your business telephone system complies with Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act, contact us and we can work with you to be sure all the necessary programming changes have been made to your system to bring you into compliance.

Are You Prepared? Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

The first half of 2020 has brought a host of challenges for businesses everywhere. From ever-changing cybersecurity risks to the need to now plan for business resiliency in the face of a global pandemic. Not having a plan is no longer an option. You have worked hard to open your business and keep it running and losing it to a disaster would be financially devastating for you — and your employees.

The following guide can help you to determine what you need to include in your plan to make sure your business is sufficiently protected and can quickly recover from current and future threats.

Make a list of all your physical business assets that could be lost in a disaster. This list should include:

  • Building(s)
  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Vehicle(s)
  • Product inventory
  • Cash
  • Financial, customer and other operational data
  • Physical documents

Identify Risks. Determine which types of threats can damage or destroy your assets or significantly impact your business operations. Some of the following may not affect your area, but any that could impact your business operations should be considered.

  • Earthquake, tornado, tsunami, or hurricane
  • Pandemics
  • An electrical surge or outage
  • Fire
  • Hacking, viruses, and other cyber attacks
  • Rain and flooding
  • A spill of hazardous substances
  • Terrorism

Determine the steps you will take to protect your assets from disasters. Take each threat and each asset, then analyze how you can prevent or prepare for the various disasters that might affect those assets.


Employee safety should be the top priority of your disaster plan. Create a plan for the protection/evacuation of your employees during natural or man-made events that could affect their safety.

  • Assign and train employees, based on their skills, to be prepared to take specific actions in the event of a physical threat.
  • Bring in a professional to train a number of employees to perform CPR and other first-aid measures.
  • Determine escape routes and safe areas employees should use, depending on the type of physical threat.
  • Post a plan of these routes in a prominent place so employees are reminded of them and can know them instinctively.
  • Include instructions for turning off utilities such as gas, water, and HVAC systems.
  • Assign individuals to help ensure that an escape or safety plan is implemented properly.
  • Practice this plan and make sure new employees are trained on it as part of their orientation.
  • Post emergency phone numbers for police, fire, poison control, etc.
  • Add safety equipment — including first aid kits, Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and shelter-in-place supplies — to your facility.
  • Maintain an emergency personnel file on each employee with important medical data, and names of emergency contacts.
  • Develop a plan on how to continue operations in the face of a widespread outbreak, keeping in mind the potential need to shut down physical locations.

Physical Assets

Meet with your insurance provider to understand what is and is not covered in the case of various types of disasters.

  • Determine the cost involved in expanding coverage to make sure your assets are insured in case of each type of loss.
  • Make copies of important printed documents — such as deeds and other legal documents — and put the originals in a safe deposit box at your bank.
  • Take photos of all physical assets, put them on a CD, DVD, or flash drive, and store it in your safe deposit box. Businesses that have an inventory of their belongings, with pictures, typically receive higher insurance payments from losses and receive them faster.
  • If your business is in an area threatened by severe natural storms, consider making building enhancements so your building(s) can better withstand these threats.


The financial, customer, and operational information on your network is the heart of your operation. Ensuring that it cannot be lost is the best action you can take to quickly get your operation up and running again.

Moving your operations and data to a cloud service provider not only protects that data in case of a disaster, but can also significantly enhance the productivity, collaboration, and functionality of your business.

Cloud services, such as Intermedia, offer business services — including hosted Exchange, Hosted PBX, Securisync®, and AnyMeeting™ — that let you communicate, collaborate, manage content and run your business applications. Today’s highly mobile environment, with employees accessing data from their PCs, smartphones, and tablets, makes that access easy, yet keeps your data safe and secure and away from your physical location so it’s not affected by any natural or man-made disaster.

Getting Help

There are several governmental and charitable agencies ready to help in times of a disaster. The Small Business Administration is prepared to assist, with programs such as their National Response Framework (NRF), National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), and Disaster Loan Making (DLM) process. Their Disaster Oversight Council/Executive Management Team oversees the direction and support of the disaster loan process during disasters and coordinates DLM and continuity of operations (COOP).

By addressing all the above issues in your plan, your business can prevent damages from some possible threats, be better prepared for other disasters, and be in a position to quickly get your operations back up and running when issues do arise.