Those who live in the northwest corner of Georgia can feel safer now that the Hyper-ReachTM mass alert system is in place. The previous system worked well during the April, 2011 tornado outbreak, but the contract on it was expiring this year. Emergency Services director Alex Case saw Hyper-ReachTM as an excellent replacement.
"I like a lot of the new features. With new services, new technology, it makes it easier and faster to launch calls," says Case.
After all, minutes count during emergencies.
If the National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings, audio and text messages are automatically sent to those who have registered their cell phones and email addresses. Land lines listed with the Trenton Telephone Company are automatically enrolled. It all happens almost instantaneously.
"We were able to get unlimited service and unlimited minutes for calls," adds Case.
Hyper-ReachTM will even save the county $3,000 a year compared to the old system and some of the overall cost is covered by a FEMA grant. It's also mobile.
"I can do it from my truck, from my house. I keep a laptop," says Case. This comes in handy in case he's not at the office when an emergency breaks.
It's also used in other critical situations. Just a few weeks after going on-line in early November, Case used Hyper-ReachTM and its advanced mapping capabilities to locate a missing teen. After typing a message, followed by just a click or two, it's sent in mere seconds to thousands of people at once and to the department's social media pages.
Neighboring Walker county has been using Hyper-ReachTM since late 2012. County Coordinator David Ashburn is glad he had it the day of the July 16 shootings in Chattanooga, just 30 miles away.
"We, that day, sent out the alert to the north end of the county to be cautious and stay in if at all possible," says Ashburn.
It was also used to send alerts during the old Barwick Mill fire in Lafayette due to an environmental hazard.
For more information on Hyper-ReachTM in Dade County, visit this link . For Walker County, go here .