Local (County/City/School) Alerts vs. Wireless Emergency Alerts

Alert:  don’t be afraid to sign up for your local community’s emergency notification system!

I’ve lost count of the number of Twitter postings about phone alerts that have woken people up, scared the daylights (or less nice stuff) out of them, and have otherwise messed up their karma.

We get it.  Those alerts can be scary.  (BTW, you can turn them off if you want to.)  They come from a federal system that we think is awesome, but still has a few bugs yet (loud, scary alarms being one of those.)

There’s another kind of alert system, though, that you need to sign up for.  And here’s what’s cool:

  • It won’t cost you anything (except text messaging charges if you pay per text);
  • It won’t scare you;
  • It’s likely to be more relevant and complete, because it comes from your local police, sheriff, 911 center, etc.;
  • You can get the alerts like normal text or email messages so they don’t drive you nuts;
  • In some places, you can even get an app for your smartphone.

Thousands of counties, cities and other public safety agencies are spending millions of dollars to send you warnings about nasty stuff like severe weather, downed power lines, traffic hazards, shooters on the loose and other dangers.  But you’re not going to find out about any of that unless you sign up.  And signing up is easy.

There are thousands of local sign up pages, but there is also a single national page you can use.  Sign up for this one and they will pass your information on to the local sign up page for your area.  Just click here.

So don’t get the two confused.  Your local public safety people want to keep you safe.  Help them do their job.  Sign up now.