New emergency alert system to begin on May 1
by Teresa Eubanks, Journal Editor
Bad weather warnings, jail escapes, hazardous material spills, disruptions in utility services and lengthy road closures due to accidents - all situations in which it helps to have quick notice or advance warning.
Calhoun County has been using the Code Red system at a cost of $8,300 a year for the past two years to send out alerts for such events.
Liberty County also had Code Red but never quite got the program up and running, according to Emergency Management Director Rhonda Lewis.
As of May 1, a new emergency alert system will go into effect statewide free of charge to the agencies using it.
The new system, called Everbridge, will allow users to select how they want to be notified. Messages can be sent to landlines, cell phones, email addresses and even pagers.
Landline phones already entered into county 911 databases will be automatically added but anyone wanting to have information sent another way is advised to sign up.
Liberty County residents can sign up by going to www.libertycountyflem.com and scrolling down for a link. Lewis said the new system is going to be efficient. “Instead of having to make 50 phone calls, I can make just one,” she said about contacting emergency volunteers as well as alerting the public. The new system allows it to be programmed to send a message to a single address, to a specific group or the entire county. You can also decide what kind of alerts you want to receive. “You can choose to get all alerts or just one, like tornado alerts,” she said.
In Calhoun County, go to https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085614898#/login or go to www.calhounsheriff.com to sign up. Anyone with questions can contact Kim Tanner at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office.