Emergency management launches mass severe incident alert system

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- As we enter peak tornado season in Wisconsin Eau Claire County is releasing a new emergency alert system that is making use of social media and apps.

Emergency management is encouraging people to sign up for its new mass notification system.

Emergency Management Coordinator Tyler Esh explained, “This allows anybody who signs up for the system to receive alerts via email, phone calls, text messages about impending severe weather.”

Eau Claire still maintains outdoor tornado sirens but the county is also investing in technology to inform people who are indoors as well.

“They're specifically built to warn you if you're outside and you hear the sirens going off to find a place to go inside,” said Esh. “We also recommend having a weather radio that will help alert you indoors and this system we have now will tie in phones and really will help fill in those gaps.”

Esh said the cost of the $14,000 system is being split by both cities. You can sign up for the system by going to smart911. com and view the alerts on social media as well.

“This system will automatically post to social media to the Eau Claire County Emergency Management Facebook and Twitter pages,” added Esh. “Any sort of severe thunderstorm watch or tornado warning all of that will automatically post to our social media pages.”

Emergency management says it's also good to refresh or create a plan in case of a severe weather incident.

“Really make sure that you have a good emergency preparedness plan in place for severe weather. Our county is not immune to big events. We've had tornados here, we've had flooding here, flash flooding. So make sure you have a way to get notifications that these events are happening and a spot to go in case of severe weather,” said Esh.

The department also says the system will alert those who sign up to hazardous material or wildfire incidents.

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