The Cass County Emergency Management Agency has officially rolled-out a county wide mass notification system. Last month, we told you the County was in the final stages of preparing for the launch of the system, which uses Inspiron Logistics’ Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS). Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says Cass County now has the ability to send residents important updates during emergencies. The Cass County Emergency Notification System will allow County officials to provide residents with critical emergency notifications and instruction in an efficient and timely manner.
Cass County EMC Mike Kennon talks about the Mass Notification System at the Board of Supervisor’s mtg. Feb. 11, 2015.
Kennon says “This is an opportunity for our residents to receive critical information and instruction during an emergency. This new tool allows us to augment other notification systems through which emergency information can be shared with our residents. This system can provide communication at a time when it is most needed, allowing emergency responders to focus on aiding a well-informed community.”
While all land line phones have been entered automatically into the system, registration will be required for residents wanting to receive emergency alerts via cell phone, email or pager. At registration, residents will be allowed to customize how they will receive messaging and what types of messages they would like to receive. As of now, Cass County Emergency Management, Communications Center, Sheriff’s Office and Atlantic Police Department can disseminate messaging. There is also a potential to expand the system to include other towns, groups or organizations with a Public Safety justification.
The system is fully integrated with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). This allows for automated weather notifications to all subscribers; including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and other notifications issued through NOAA. Officials can target each message to an unlimited number of groups – everything from notification of all residents of a specific town to mobilizing volunteers throughout the County. Officials can also contact residents based on specific geographical locations using a mapping feature, sending messages to those within select neighborhoods when needed.
To register, residents can go to http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/cass_ia/wens.cfm and sign up by entering their cell phone, e-mail and/or pager number, city and zip code. There are also links located on the Cass County homepage (http://www.casscountyiowa.us/) or the Cass County EMA Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CassCoEMA). For more information, contact Mike Kennon, Coordinator, Cass County Emergency Management Agency at 712-254-1500.
Kennon said also there are some upcoming Emergency Management events in Cass County, including a Storm Spotter Training Class 7-p.m. March 11th, at the Cass County Courthouse. And, the Statewide Tornado Drill takes place at about 10-a.m., on March 25th. It’s a chance for you to plan or review what action you should take at your home or place of business if a tornado is spotted in Cass County.