County to Implement Emergency Notification System for Residents, Employees
January 14, 2015
The Cullman County Emergency Management Agency will soon be able to provide residents who sign up with emergency notifications sent to their cell phone, landline or email.
Residents will be able to go online to sign up for the service in coming weeks, said EMA Director Phyllis Little. Users can choose which kind of alerts they want to receive and how they want to receive them, she said.
On Tuesday, the Cullman County Commission authorized Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker to sign an agreement with Framingham, Massachusetts -based Rave Mobile Safety for an emergency notification system. The county will pay $11,600 for the first year and $9,100 annually.
The same program emergency notification program was used during the Boston Marathon bombing and Superstorm Sandy, according to Rave Mobile Safety’s website.
“This is going to be a good system for our citizens to receive weather alerts for tornado and thunderstorm watches and warnings,” Little said. “We can also use the system to let people know when the courthouse closes.”
Associate Commissioner Garry Marchman said the county will also benefit from the system by utilizing it for inter-departmental alerts and notifications.
Little said the EMA plans to visit local senior centers and other organizations to help residents sign up when the system is ready in the next three to four weeks.
In a related measure, the commission voted to amend its road closure policy which was originally adopted in 2001. Currently, the county has a policy of not closing roads for inclement weather because it lacks the resources to properly to do so, said County Attorney Heath Meherg.
Under the new policy, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office will report road conditions to the EMA and the county engineer. The county engineer will make a determination on whether roads are “impassable,” and the EMA will notify residents and authorities of the impassable roads, Meherg said.