published Monday, April 7th, 2014

DeKalb County residents urged to register for alerts

REGISTER FOR ALERT DEKALB

To sign up for Alert DeKalb notifications, go to www.dekalbcountyal.us and click on the bright red "Alert DeKalb" banner at the bottom of the page to fill out the form. Residents can call the county Emergency Management Agency at 256-845-8569 for help or more information.

Source: DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency

As stormy springtime weather advances toward summer, DeKalb County, Ala., Emergency Management Agency officials are pushing residents to register for a new weather warning service.

The county had a five-year contract with CodeRED through April 1, but now the switch is on to "Alert DeKalb," a mass notification service provided by California based Everbridge, EMA director Anthony Clifton said.

"This is the perfect time to do it, because everybody's interested in the weather," Clifton said.

Alert DeKalb is versatile and allows users to choose their own alert options and tailor notifications for alerts in different geographic areas, he said.

"You can have the system send a phone text, then call your home or send an email," Clifton said. "Say you live in the north end of the county and work in the south end, you can get notifications for both areas."

Users can choose to receive alerts for missing persons, road closures or hazardous materials spills, he said.

Alerts can save lives, according to Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokesman Gregory Robinson.

"The moment a person could have been warned about a storm that destroyed their home, be it severe weather season or not, was the most important moment to them," Robinson said. "Now is the best time to sign up for alerts."

Clifton said about 4,000 people have registered for the service and about 25,000 publicly listed phone numbers have been added.

"We're reaching about 25,000 phone numbers in DeKalb County," he said.

The new system is particularly important for people who have no landline phone, he said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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