Emergency Addresses and Locations in Microsoft Teams - Planning and Implementing

Introduction

To properly route emergency calls to the correct Public Safety Access Point (PSAP when using Microsoft Teams, you should create Microsoft Teams Emergency Addresses for each one of your buildings. This blog explains the details and shows a representative walk-through example for you to follow, to ensure you’re meeting RAY BAUM’s Act, Kari’s Law, and state regulations. See prior blog  for a planning primer.

Overview and Terms

Teams Dynamic Emergency Calling is enabled by default for Microsoft Teams Calling Plan users. Though it is enabled, it will not work without additional configuration. Before you can assign telephone numbers to your Microsoft Teams Calling Plan users you must configure Emergency Addresses and Emergency Location\Places that represents the primary dispatchable location for your users.

A Location\Place must be assigned to Phone System numbers as they are being assigned to your Calling Plan users. This Location\Place is referred to as the “address of record” for a Calling Plan user. This can be thought of as a “default” address for the number that can be provided to emergency providers if the caller’s current location cannot be determined dynamically by Microsoft Teams. This is the first component of Teams Dynamic Calling encountered when setting up Teams for Calling Plan users. Emergency Locations\Places are not assigned to Microsoft Teams Direct Routing numbers and users.

Locations\Places must be assigned to the network elements added to the Teams Location Information System (LIS) database. This association of a dispatchable location to a network subnet, wireless access point, switch or switch port is what puts the “Dynamic” in “Teams Dynamic 911”.

The Emergency Location\Place in Dynamic 911 parlance is also referred to as a “dispatchable location”. These are the addresses that are provided to emergency responders to direct them to an Emergency Services caller. The RAY BAUM Act requires that multi line telephone systems (MLTS) installed after January 6, 2021 must automatically provide a dispatchable location to Emergency Services when a 911 call is placed. The definition of what constitutes a dispatchable location is very much up for debate and discussed in the first article in this series.

Emergency Addresses

  • In Microsoft Teams, Emergency Addresses commonly represent the Street or Front Door address of a business’s buildings and the home addresses of remote workers
  • These are required for customers using Teams Calling Plans for their telephony
  • The home addresses of full-time remote workers with a Calling Plan and assigned phone number from the client’s Teams Phone System inventory must be added as Emergency Addresses
  • When you add an Emergency Address (also referred to as a Civic Address) to Teams, a Teams Location\Place record is automatically created
    • This Location\Place record represents the Street Address or “Front Door” location of the building
  • Each Emergency Address record includes:
    • The name of the building
    • A Description of the building
    • A unique identifier for the record called a CivicAddressID
    • The full Street Address of the building
      • House Number
      • Street Name
      • Pre and Post Directional Street Name Information
      • Street Suffix
      • City
      • State or Province
      • Postal Code
      • Country or Region
    • The latitude and longitude coordinates of the building. These are referred to as Geocodes
    • The optional Emergency Location Identification Number (ELIN) associated with the Emergency Address
    • The DefaultLocationID is the LocationID of the Location\Place record that was created when the Emergency Address record was added. The LocationID is a unique identifier for Teams LISLocation records

Teams Locations\Places

  • Location\Place records are assigned to Microsoft Teams Calling Plan users and network elements in the Location Information System (LIS) database. Emergency Address records are not assigned to either of these entities
  • It is these records that are used to provide “dispatchable locations” to emergency providers when an emergency services call is placed by Calling Plan or Direct Routing users
  • All Emergency Addresses have a default Location\Place record. This record represents the Street or Front Door address of the building
  • The value of the “Location Name” of the default record is blank or null in the PowerShell LISLocation object
  • This location does not “explicitly” appear in the list of Locations\Places of an Emergency Address record
  • A building can have additional Location\Place records
  • These records are added to Emergency Address records and represent more specific locations in a building such as a floor, suite, room, or apartment. For a building with sixty (60) floors providing a dispatchable location that includes the floor number will allow the emergency responders to get to the caller much faster than if they did not have that information.
  • The Location\Place records have a Location Name that must be unique for the Emergency Address record. You cannot have two (2) Locations\Places for an address named “First Floor”
  • Multiple Emergency Address records can have identical Location\Place names such as “First Floor”
  • The Location\Place records created for an Emergency Address include the street address, Geocode and ELIN (if used) information of the parent Emergency Address record
  • Each record includes the CivicAddressID of the Emergency Address record
  • All of the child Location\Place records of an Emergency Address record will have the same CivicAddressID
  • Each Location\Place record has a unique internal identifier named the LocationID
  • Location\Place records can have an optional ELIN number that overrides the ELIN number of the parent Emergency Address record. If an ELIN number is not provided in the Location\Place record, the record will use the ELIN of the parent Emergency Address record if there is one

Key Points

  1. There should be an Emergency Address record for all of your buildings regardless of whether there are or will be Teams users homed in the location
  2. If you are using Calling Plans, add Emergency Address records for all of your remote worker’s residences
  3. Teams will allow you to add Emergency Addresses with the same Building Name and Address. Do not do this! Have one record for each building to keep the Building Names and Street Addresses unique and unambiguous
  4. Before creating your Emergency Addresses and Location\Place records, document them thoroughly. You may be able to use this documentation to later create these records through PowerShell
  5. If you are creating these manually or through PowerShell, determine the latitude and longitude of the Emergency Addresses. You will not be able to assign a Teams Location\Place to a Calling Plan number or Location Information System (LIS) database network element that does not have Geocodes

 

Adding Teams Emergency Addresses

  • Emergency Addresses must all be validated against the Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) database
  • Teams will perform this validation automatically when adding emergency addresses through the Teams Admin Center
  • Validation is a separate step and command when adding the addresses through PowerShell
  • Once validated, the information in an Emergency Address cannot be changed. If you need to make changes to a record, you will have to:
  1. Unassign the Emergency Address’s “child” Places from all Calling Plan users and LIS database entries
  2. Delete all the Emergency Address’s Places
  3. Delete the Emergency Address
  4. Create a replacement Emergency Address
  5. Re-add all the Places
  6. Reassign the Places to the Calling Plan users and LIS database records
  • The Teams PowerShell commands to manage the Emergency Addresses are:
    • New-CsOnlineLISCivicAddress
    • Get- CsOnlineLISCivicAddress
    • Remove- CsOnlineLISCivicAddress
    • Set- CsOnlineLISCivicAddress
  • If you have a small number of Emergency Addresses to add, use the Teams Admin Center. Otherwise, consider using a PowerShell script that references a Comma Separated Value file for the information
  • If your Company has Microsoft Teams Calling Plan users, add the addresses of the Remote Workers. If the Remote Workers are Microsoft Teams Direct Routing users, do not add their addresses

 

Teams Admin Center

  1. To add an Emergency Address through the Teams Admin Center, click on “Locations” then “Emergency addresses”
    Picture1-May-03-2021-07-25-13-12-PM2. Click the “Add” button to add an Emergency Address
    3. Click the “Country or Region” drop down and select the address’s CountryPicture2-3
    4. Enter any additional descriptive information in the “Description” field at the top of the Emergency Address input screen
    5. Put the Building Name in the “Organization Name” field towards the bottom of the screen. Teams will let you create multiple records with the same “Organization Name”. From experience, this will cause you a lot of problems in keeping your Emergency Addresses in order. Use a unique name in the “Organization Name” field for every Emergency Address you create
    6. Start typing in the building’s full address including the City, State and Zip Code. Teams will try to match your typing against a record in the MSAG. Once it “offers” you the correct record, click it to select it. The record may not exactly match what you typed in. In the example, “Hwy” was typed in but the MSAG address has it as “Highway”
    Picture3-1
    7. If you turn on the “Input address manually” button, you will be presented with individual fields for the address, including the Latitude and Longitude that you will have to provide. See the “Looking up the Geocodes (Latitude and Longitude) for an Emergency Address” below for a way to get this information
    Picture4-2
    8. Teams should show you a map with the location indicated
    9. Add an ELIN Number if required and Click the “Save” button
    Picture5-1
    10. Once you click “Save”, you will be returned to the list of Emergency Addresses and advised that the record was created
    Picture6-2

Behind the Scenes

  • “Behind the Scenes”, Teams will have created a CsOnlineLISCivicAddress record for the Emergency Address.
    • A unique CivicAddressID would be assigned to it and the latitude and longitude from the MSAG information would have been added
    • The “Building Name” which you put in the “Organization Name” field ends up in the “CompanyName” field while the information that you put in the “Description” field is in the “Description” field in the CsOnlineLISCivicAddress record
    • You can view these records in PowerShell using the Get-CsOnlineLISCivicAddress command

    Picture7-1

 

  • Teams will have also automatically created a Location\Place record, CsOnlineLISLocation
    • This record is the “default” place for the Emergency Address, the Street level or “front door” address of the buildin
    • You can view the Locations\Places in PowerShell by running the command Get-CsOnlineLISLocation
      Picture7-1
  • When you click on the Name of the Emergency Address in the Admin Center, you will see:
    • All Places associated with the Emergency Address except for the default
    • Associated Calling Plan User’s Phone Numbers
    • LIS Subnets associated with this Place
    • LIS Wireless Access Points associated with this Place
    • LIS Switches associated with this Place
  • At the top of the screen, you will also see the LocationID of the “front door” default record for the Emergency Address. This location will not appear in the “Places” table below
  •  

Picture9

 

Teams PowerShell

  • Emergency Addresses can be added through the Teams Online PowerShell Module
  • To create a new Emergency Address, you will need to use the New-CsOnlineLisCivicAddress or the Test-CsLisCivicAddress command
  • If you are going to add these with a PowerShell Script, you will need a Comma Separated Value file with the required information properly formatted
  • Before adding an Emergency Address through PowerShell or a PowerShell script you will need to gather the latitude and longitude for each of the addresses that you would like to add. Teams refers to these as the Geocodes. You will also need these to manually add an Emergency Address in the Teams Admin Center as described previously
  • There is a fairly easy way to do this using the table we already created with the building information. The process can be found in the article The costless way to geocoding addresses in Excel – part1, via Google Sheets

Adding Teams Places

  • You must first decide which Locations\Places you will need to add to Teams
  • This is discussed in the first article in this series, “Emergency Calling for Microsoft Teams” under the “Who” section
  • You will usually not need to add any additional places to the Emergency Addresses of your Remote Workers

Teams Admin Center

1. Click on the Emergency Address that you would like to add a Teams Place to

Picture10

2. Select the “Places” tab and click the “Add” button

Picture11

3. In the “Name” field, type in the name of the Place such as Floor 1, First Floor, Suite 200, Floor 3 Office 309, etc. 

Picture12

4. Click the Apply button

Picture13

Teams PowerShell

  • You can use the New-CsOnlineLISLocation command to add Teams Places. You will need the CivicAddressID of the Teams Emergency Address before you can add a Place
  • If you are going to add these with a PowerShell Script, you will need a Comma Separated Value file with the appropriate CivicAddressID and the name of the Location\Place. You may optionally add an ELIN to override the parent’s ELIN
  • The command can also be used to add a new Teams Place and Teams Emergency Address at the same time. This is not a recommended way to use this command. It is best to add and validate a Teams Emergency Address before adding any Teams Places
  • The output of Get-CsOnlineLISLocation for the first added Teams Place shows a new unique LocationID, the CivicAddressID of the Teams Emergency Address and “Floor 1” in the “Location” field

Picture14

Summary 

  • In most cases, create an Emergency Address for each one of your buildings 
  • Add the home addresses of all of your remote workers as Emergency Addresses before assigning Calling Plan numbers 
  • Keep your building names clear and unique. Do not add buildings with the same name 
  • Emergency Addresses can be added using PowerShell but you will have to determine their Geocodes yourself 
  • The Locations\Places you add will be mostly determined by what your business determines to be suitable dispatchable locations that meet regulatory, legal and business liability protection and needs 

Coming Soon…. 

  • In the coming weeks, we will be adding additional blogs that cover configuring Microsoft Teams to ensure that you are in compliance with Kari’s Law and the RAY BAUM act 
  • We will also cover how to scope the assignment of the Teams Emergency Policies based on an emergency services caller’s current location 

Work with our team of Cloud Computing Consultants who have done this so many times they know all of the “minefields” to prevent missteps.

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