Locals now have a chance to receive emergency notifications from the 911 Communications Center.
The communications center launched a telephone-based mass notifications system earlier this month, according to Diane Argraves, director of the communications center.
Hyper-Reach notification system is used by thousands of public safety agencies across the U.S. to warn citizens about local emergencies, hazards and other threats.
The Coffee County 911 service has launched the alert system to bring this life-saving capability to the area, said Argraves.
The new emergency alert system will provide rapid notification of hazardous and urgent situations using a mix of telephone calls, text and email messages, and even a TTY/TDD (TeleTYpe/Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) service for the hearing impaired, said Argraves.
The system sends thousands of these messages to geographically targeted households in seconds, and can simultaneously deliver them to an even broader audience via social media, as well as sending broadcast messages to most current mobile telephones in an affected area by providing access to FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.
Since launching the system about a week ago, nearly 450 residents have signed up for it, according to Argraves.
The communications center expects to have the service fully operational by the end of February, added Argraves.
The center plans to use the service primarily for alerts about weather and environmental hazards, criminal activity and missing persons.
Landline phones are automatically enrolled for alerts (except weather), but for landline weather alerts or for alerts to mobile phones and email addresses, citizens must sign up.
“Our job is to protect the citizens of Coffee County as effectively and cost-effectively as possible.” said Argraves.
The system is free for those who sign up for notifications. The yearly fee to the communications center is about $9,000 and is paid with funds out of the center’s 911 fund.
“It is well worth it if we can save one person or one family,” Argraves said. “We are excited. I hope we never, ever have to use it. But it’s for just that one time … I want to be able to say ‘we had it, and we were able to use it, and we helped people.’ It’s money well spent. I hope we never have to use it.”
Argraves encouraged residents and people who work in Coffee County to enroll either by calling or texting 931-800-3020 or by visiting www.hyper-reach.com/tncoffeesignup.html.
Hyper-Reach is a mass notification system with over 15 years of experience in emergency messaging. Hyper-Reach sends messages via automated telephone calls, text messaging, email and social media.
Other uses of Hyper-Reach include Amber alerts, toxic chemical warnings and armed shooter alerts.
For more information about Hyper-Reach, visit www.hyper-reach.com.
Elena Cawley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.