Commissioners Amp Up Emergency Notification System for Citizens
The Henry County Board of Commissioners took several steps Tuesday night during its regular meeting to help ensure citizens’ safety during emergency situations. The first was the approval of the purchase of early warning storm sirens, and the second step was the purchase of an emergency notification system.
“Both of these projects enhance our ability to provide citizens with the earliest possible warning of severe weather, understanding that early notice saves lives,” said Don Ash, Director of the Henry County Emergency Operations Center.
Henry County’s current weather sirens were installed in 1995, when the County’s population was less than half what it is today. Consequently, previously uninhabited areas of the County are now densely populated but completely lack storm siren coverage.
While the current sirens can only transmit sound in a single direction, the nineteen new sirens by Sirens for Cities of Jonesboro, Georgia can transmit sound 360 degrees simultaneously with a 5,200 ft. radius, and they have a battery back-up, ensuring they will still be operational, even if the power goes out.
The nineteen new sirens will be positioned strategically throughout the County to help create a blanket of coverage that maximizes public safety. They are expected to be installed within 120 days.
The total cost of these sirens was $340,100; however, a federal grant will provide $253,125, leaving $84,375 to come from the Capital Lease Funds and $2,600 to come from the 2012 PPA grant funds.
To coincide with the new sirens, Henry County will also be implementing an emergency notification system that will enable citizens to sign up for free to receive emergency alerts to their home phone, cell phone and other mobile devices. Subscribers will receive advance weather warnings, as well as information and instructions in the event of other crises or disasters.
The emergency notification system will be provided by Emergency Management Telecommunications of Melbourne, Florida, at a cost of $19,995. A federal grant will pay 75 percent, with a local match of just $4,998.75 to be paid for with Capital Lease Funds.
To sign up to receive these emergency alerts, simply click on the Emergency Notification System link on the right hand side of the county’s home page, www.henrycounty-ga.org. You will be redirected to a form where you can provide the email addresses and phone numbers to which you would like the alerts sent. Alerts will not begin until August 1 at the earliest.