New Emergency Notification System in Adair & Guthrie Counties
February 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson
Residents of Adair County and Guthrie Counties have a new option for receiving emergency announcements. Bob Kempf, Emergency Manager for both counties, said the system, which is designed to get emergency messages to the public in a quick and effective manner, has already by used twice over the past few months. He told KJAN News they used it this past week for the Boil Water advisory in Stuart, and again a couple of months ago with a Boil Order in Fontanelle.
According to Kempf, when the Boil Order was issued in Stuart last week, the system made 1,200 calls to residents within 5-minutes. Kempf says he’s spent four years testing options and researching companies offering the service needed. Last year, the EM Commissions selected Global Connect of Mays Landing, NJ, and have been working hand-in-hand with the firm to “go live” with emergency notification in both counties. He says it costs about $7,700 per year for both counties combined, which allows officials to send messages to as many groups as possible, with unlimited usage. While the system is expensive for the Counties, Kempf says the 1st National Bank of Fontanelle and Greenfield are helping to defray costs by pledging $500 per year, but additional sponsors needed.
Signing-up to get your landline and/or cell phone registered for the announcements, is very simple. You can go to www.guthriecounty.org or www.adaircountyiowa.org. Click on the link to the emergency management page at either website and then on the emergency notification signup link. Fill out the form and press submit, your information will be registered within a few business days. He says if you don’t have internet access, forms will be made available at City Halls in each county community and at the two County Auditor’s offices, and libraries. You can also call Kempf at 641-332-3030 and let him guide you through the registration process.
There is no cost to sign-up, and the information is owned by the two counties. Since it is proprietary, no company or person can sell it to a third-party vendor. The system stores and uses the contact information according to street address. It will not recognize Post Office Boxes or Rural Route addresses.
In the event of a localized emergency, your local street address will integrate with the notification system’s mapping capabilities. If you have any questions, you can call the Adair & Guthrie County Emergency Management Agency at (641) 332-3030.30.