Issues worked out of Alert DeKalb, EMA officials hope to have more residents sign up

Northeast Alabama
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FORT PAYNE, Ala (WHNT) — DeKalb County Emergency Management Officials are finding new uses for its alert system and encouraging more residents to sign up.

Throughout Tuesday’s storms, some DeKalb County residents were getting alerts about timing and locations of the storms in real-time through the county’s notification system, Alert DeKalb.

Last year, the EMA launched the notification system, but some issues had to be worked out. “We did have a few rough spots to start with, because it was a new system,” EMA Director Anthony Clifton says, “It took the citizens a little while to get used to it, and it took us a little while to get used to it.”

Clifton says now they have worked through those issues. “Really the only problems we’ve got left, we have a lot of people who call and say ‘it’s bothering me’, or ‘it’s calling me too much’, or ‘it’s not calling me enough’. That’s why — they have not really customized it to their needs.”

The system allows residents to add addresses they want to be notified about in the event of severe weather or dangerous situations and how they want to be notified.

Clifton says they have more subscribers and they’re beginning to find new uses for the system. “We’ve added some stuff in the opt-in portal,” Clifton says, “When you go sign up, we’ve even added a place for special needs.”

He says that allows them to adhere to those needs and respond as necessary.

They’re still working to get more people signed up for the system, but the prior issues are worked out, and Clifton says Alert DeKalb is doing what it should. “It seems to be performing just like we need it to,” Clifton says.

Alert DeKalb is a free notification system. The EMA says it will help you to sign up, if you have questions or don’t have a computer. You can reach the agency at (256) 845-8569. 

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