Lauderdale County launches public warning system for residents

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Residents in Lauderdale County could be getting a wake-up call if they choose next time severe weather rolls in overnight. The Florence-Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency has launched a new warning system which is free of charge.

Severe weather can strike the Tennessee Valley at any time, day or night.  We have grown accustomed to hearing the outdoor weather sirens and weather radios in our homes.

But the Sentry Public Warning System launching this week in Lauderdale County goes a step further.  It provides notifications to a landline (home phone) or smart phone in the event of a weather warning, watch, or other safety alerts.

Lauderdale County Emergency Management Director George Grabyran said they have tested the system with first responders for a while now.

“It looked like it was going to work very well,” Grabryan explained. “We’ve been using it for some time, so we wanted to expand it for the citizens of Florence and Lauderdale County.”

Grabyran said they will be very specific on what information is sent out to users.  He said they never want to over warn the public.

“It’s designed not to be something to intrude in everyone’s lives. We all get enough texts and phone calls and emails, this is not designed to be one more piece,” stated Grabryan. “This is designed to basically have you tune into your local news media and see what’s coming.”

Grabryan said it’s another tool to help keep the public warned ahead of any storm or emergency situation.

Funding for the system is being shared between the City of Florence, Lauderdale County 911, and the Lauderdale County Commission.

Lauderdale County residents can follow this link to register for the free service.