Pottawattamie County launches new emergency notification system
A new emergency notification system was launched today by the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency.
The Pottawattamie County Emergency Notification System is part of the growing statewide notification system "Alert Iowa." Currently, 80 of Iowa's 99 counties have or are in the process of implementing this statewide emergency notification system.
Alert Iowa was developed by Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management to provide all counties with access to a single, statewide notification system that provides local control of how and when to disseminate emergency and public safety messages to residents.
Pottawattamie County will be activating public access to the new system today. The existing CodeRED alerting system will remain in place over the next couple of months as citizens register for the new system and then that program will be eliminated.
Doug Reed, Director of Emergency Management for Pottawattamie County says, "joining the Alert Iowa System gives us more flexibility in providing alerts to the public, continue to provide automated weather warnings, provide us with more options and significantly reduced emergency alerting costs for the agency."
Residents will be able to choose the types of alerts they receive, such as for severe weather, 9-1-1 outages or winter storms. Alerts can be sent to residents via landline and wireless phone, text messaging, email, FAX, TTY/TDD, and social media. Photo, video, audio and links may be included in the alerts to help recipients better understand the situation or where to go to get additional information.
In addition, Emergency Management has been granted access to interface the new system with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to send imminent emergency and public safety messages through the Emergency Alert System, NOAA Weather Radio and the Wireless Emergency Alerts system. Using IPAWS for local alerts will be another method to ensure the most urgent information is delivered to as many residents as possible when an emergency is happening and requires the public to take immediate action.
Residents can sign up for multiple phone numbers and addresses to receive emergency alerts for themselves or for loved ones in another community within the county. You may also sign up for alerts that may impact your place of business by registering separately for that address as well. A new feature that will be available is the ability for citizens with special needs to provide that information during registration which will allow emergency responders and planners to effectively meet the need of those with special needs impacted by disaster.
To register for the Pottawattamie County Emergency Notification System (Alert Iowa) visit www.pottcounty.com, the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Facebook page or www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov.