Starting June 1st, residents will be able to access more features, like storm warnings, through the Story County Iowa Alerts emergency notification system. “We’re excited to be able to offer everyone new notification features to help keep them safe.” Said Keith Morgan, the Story County Emergency Management Coordinator. Morgan said residents have three ways to sign-up and access these features; online at http://www.storycountyiowa.gov/alerts, by downloading the Smart911 App to a cell phone or wireless enabled device, or opt-in via text messages. The service is a free with no cost to you, although standard data and messaging rates may apply from your carrier.
These improvements result from Story County Iowa Alerts switching to a new provider, RAVE Public Safety, on July 1st. Those currently signed-up for notifications will continue to get notifications for a while, but they will need to register with the new provider soon. With this switch, residents have access to new features and functions that will allow them to select the type of alerts they want to receive. Individuals and families can and set up a user profile for multiple family members, with multiple phone numbers and addresses. Once created, an account can choose to provide information about relevant health information that will assist emergency management identify potential special response needs during a disaster or allow for specific emergency messaging. Downloading and enabling the Smart911 App also allows individuals to receive emergency notifications “on the go” anywhere RAVE is used by local emergency management.
“For the first time, you can opt to receive National Weather Service severe weather watch and warning notifications and also select to receive notifications in up to 70 languages. This is a feature that was not available in the previous system.” Melissa Spencer, Deputy Coordinator explained.
To opt-in via text message, individuals can text the name of the community for which they want alerts, with the letters IA after it, to 672-83. For example, for emergency messages for Collins, text CollinsIA. Once you have opted in via text message you will get a reply with a link to complete your account profile to subscribe to additional notifications from Story County Iowa Alerts.
Story County Emergency Management will send out an alert message on Wednesday, June 16th at 5 PM, to those previously registered reminding them to sign up on the new system.
For more information on the Alert Iowa program, and to find other Counties that are participating you can visit the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management website at https://homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/programs/alert-iowa/ .