Weather warning can save lives

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Did you open your eyes this morning, brush your teeth, pour a cup of coffee, and then check the weather report this morning? Chances are, you’re not alone.

Many, if not most, people pick up their cell phone right after they awaken and begin their search for information. What news worthy events happened during the night? Who’s posted exciting pics on Facebook? What special sales are happening today? What’s the weather expected to be like today? We are part of a society that wants to do what’s going on all the time. And, we want to know now.

So, are you one of the elite people of Madison County who have already taken advantage of automatic weather warning messages coming directly to your cell phone, house phone or email? Would you like to be?

Madison County Office of Emergency Management manages a reverse notification system that offers many options to our citizens who wish to receive information automatically. By signing up with Everbridge and Nixle, you can customize the messages you receive them and even turn them off at a specific time of day or night. It’s very easy to sign up.

Visit http://tinyurl.com/hmbzj3p, create a profile and begin making your choices for notifications. You can pick and choose which notifications you'd like to receive, by what means you want to receive them — voice, text, or email — and even choose a "Do Not Disturb" time if you'd like. Once you’ve set it up, you can always sign in again and make changes anytime.

Some of the notifications that you may wish to receive include Advisories, Watches or Warnings for Freezing Rain, Fire Weather, Excessive Heat, Hurricanes, Severe Thunderstorms or Tornados. There’s also a section that allows you to sign up for Community News and other items of local interest. We’re working to add Jury Duty cancellations, also. Emergency messages will also be sent through this system.

There’s also another way to receive timely information that’s only a text away. By texting your zip code to 888777, you can receive real-time alerts and advisories directly from the county or other agencies. There is no charge for registering, but standard text messaging rates associated with your mobile phone service will apply. You can opt out at any time by texting “STOP” to 888777.

We’re happy to be able to provide these services to you. You need only take advantage of them to help you be better informed. Sign up now, and Be Safe Out There.

Shelly Butts is Emergency Management coordinator for Madison County.

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