FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) -- You have probably heard of getting alerts from school systems, churches or other organizations on your phone. Now DeKalb County residents are able to do the same, with a quicker, easier, and more convenient system to keep their families safe.
It acts somewhat like a text. It's an instant notification that something's happening called Alert DeKalb, and when there is a weather warning or some other danger anywhere in the county, its residents will know about it instantly. "What it will do is it will not only alert your home phone, it'll alert your cell phone, it'll alert you by email it'll notify you by text, and the biggest thing is it's user configurable," EMA Director Anthony Clifton says.
The new system will allow you to decide which phone numbers you want to get the alerts on. It also allows you to decide which areas you want to be alerted about.
The alerts will notify you about severe weather, but it's not limited to that. "We can use it to notify if we have a runaway, if we needed to search an area for some reason, Amber Alerts, it has a number of uses out there," Clifton says.
This isn't the first alert system DeKalb County has had, but this new one allows users more opportunities, and the EMA a wider range of ways to keep the county's residents updated. "Let's say we need to alert a city," Clifton says, "We can go into the map and pinpoint a location, and draw a circle or a square or whatever, and it will notify everybody that's registered in that square."
Clifton says the old system, called Code Red, is still in effect, but eventually the new one will phase it out on April first.
The agency's goal is to get everyone in the county signed up and in the system before severe weather season.
Clifton says if you don't have a computer, don't have access to one, or aren't sure how to sign up, to call the agency at (256) 845-8569 and the team there will be able to help.