On September 13th starting at 1:00 PM, over 24,000 residents and businesses will get phone calls, text, or emails through Story County Iowa Alerts confirming they are registered to get emergency notifications. As a part of National Preparedness month, Story County Emergency Management is performing a county wide test of the Story County Iowa Alerts system to confirm proper operation system and evaluate its capability while allowing those registered to confirm they will get important disaster communications. The county’s mass notification system can send severe weather alerts or location specific emergency alerts to those that signed up for the service. If individuals have signed up for emergency notifications through Story County Iowa Alerts and did not receive a message on September 13th, they should check their profile to ensure they have selected the appropriate alerts. If they still don’t see a reason why they didn’t get a notification, then call Story County Emergency Management at 515-382-7315 for assitance. If you haven’t signed up there is still time. You can register online through the Smart911 website here: https://www.smart911.com/smart911/ref/reg.action?pa=StoryCountyIowa
“Registering online with Story County Iowa Alerts, allows you to create a profile for yourself and your family in one place. If you have family members or loved ones in other Story County communities, you can add their address information to your profile to be aware of any disasters or emergencies affecting them as well. This system is very customizable, by creating a profile you can manage the alerts you receive and make changes at any time.” Melissa Spencer, Deputy Coordinator explained.
If you want to receive emergency messages for your community, but do not want to create an online profile, you can opt-in via text message. Sign-up by texting the name of your community with the addition of IA. For example, someone wanting emergency notifications for the city of Nevada would text NevadaIA to 67283. You will receive emergency messages affecting your community, but not receive severe weather alerts or other features that come with registering a profile through Smart911.
In addition to receiving emergency alerts from Story County, you can sign up for alerts from any of the 87 counties across Iowa that use the Alert Iowa system provided by Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management. 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/ .
“If you have the Smart911 app downloaded and enabled on your phone, you can receive notifications ‘on the go’ from anywhere the Iowa Alert system is used by local emergency management agencies.” said Coordinator, Keith Morgan.
The test of Story County Iowa Alerts is part of a broader push to increase awareness of the need for individuals and businesses to take steps to be informed, prepared, and ready to take actions to minimize the impacts of disasters. Looking at the disasters and other manmade hazards that may affect your community gives everyone a starting point to build a disaster kit and make a plan to keep your family safe or to protect your business and employees. For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the Story County Emergency Management webpage at https://www.storycountyiowa.gov/168/Disaster-Emergency-Preparedness or Be Ready Iowa at www.beready.iowa.gov.