Time is critical when relaying address information and directions to emergency response personnel.

The prime directive of Colbert County E 9-1-1 and the reason it was created is to save lives during emergencies. The addressing system in use is designed to meet all postal requirements of the U.S. Postal Service. E 9-1-1 Emergency Numbering addresses has been adopted county wide as mailing address.

The initial committee charged with designing the Colbert County addressing system was seated by local law enforcement, fire, rescue and Post Office heads. This was accomplished during the early 1990's.

Street Naming

It was decided by the Addressing Committee to use road names as opposed to road numbers, numbers similar to the County Road numbering scheme which is still recognized for maintenance or historical purposes. Only those roads maintained by the Colbert County Highway Department were and still are, assigned numbers. Naturally there are many more roads in the County than these type. Many of the non-County maintained roads where historically known by some name, for that matter, the public recognized a "name" for many of the County numbered roads. For this reason, the Committee determined that it would be most beneficial for emergency services to "name" rather than "number" all roads in the rural County.

Today, road naming is governed by the Colbert County Commission and normally only after a petition signed by all effected occupants, has been secured. It is Colbert County E 9-1-1's desire to allow the residents or occupants, to derive the name of their road. However, some considerations must be observed.

  1. No two roads which lie within the same Postal Zip Code can have the same name.
  2. Road names should not be too similar, thus creating confusion (eg Sydney ln, Sydney Dr).
  3. Roads should not have the name of a business unless it is a none public road. Special circumstances must be in place for none public roads to be named and adopted by Colbert County E 9-1-1.
  4. Person's names should be avoided in most cases however there are acceptable situations.
  5. Unless there is extenuating circumstances, a road must provide access to three or more residents before it can be issued a road name and E 9-1-1 addressing.

Colbert County E 9-1-1 does not determine if the Postal Service will deliver mail on the road you live on. You must contact your Postal carrier or Postmaster of your community to work out the delivery of your mail.

Address Ranging

Roads in rural Colbert County are addressed from South to North and from West to east. For instance, Highway 72 is numbered or 'addressed' from the Alabama/Mississippi line eastwardly, with the numbers ascending as you drive East. Highway 43 which runs North and South, is considered to start at the Colbert Franklin County line and ascend in addresses as you drive North.

Some roads can be confusing such as Loops or roads that turn off one road, only to return to the same road. Generally, roads like this are addressed the same direction as the road they begin and terminate to, from South to North, West to East.

Address ranging is accomplished in rural Colbert County by dividing a mile by 1000. Thus, one mile equals 5,280 feet. Divide this by 1000 gives us 5.28 feet per address. May sound a little overboard, but considering how structures can be situated in rural settings, this scheme allows us to produce an address regardless where you decide to build.

Another reason for using this type of address ranging is simple. Addresses correspond to the mileage of the road you are driving.  For example; an address of "500 Dogwood Rd" would be 1/2 mile from the beginning of the road.  An address of "1000 Dogwood Rd" would be 1 mile from the beginning. Using this method of addressing makes is a lot easier for emergency responders to located you by giving them and idea of how much farther they need to travel, or even which direction they should turn at an intersection.

Additionally, the range of addresses are divided into Odd and Even numbers. Odd number addresses are on your left if you are driving Northward or Eastward, even addresses are on your right.