Fillmore County is now using the AlertSense emergency alert and notification system. This is a new system and replaces the former Code Red program used by the county.
“The AlertSense system allows the county to send emergency alerts, severe weather warnings, and community notifications that affect you,” Fillmore County Emergency Management director Jim Dunker said. “The AlertSense system allows the county to contact people through phone calls, text messages, system notifications through an app, and through social media Facebook pages—Fillmore County Emergency Management and Fillmore County Sheriff's Office.”
A key feature of this system is giving people in the community National Weather Service extreme weather warnings as well providing law enforcement emergency information, such as, runaways from the Geneva Youth Rehabilitation Training Center or incidents requiring a person to take shelter. Fillmore County Sheriff Bill Burgess and Dunker can program AlertSense to send out an emergency notification if so inclined.
At the March 6 Geneva City Council meeting, Burgess gave AlertSense a lot of credit in capturing the last six girls, who recently escaped from the Geneva YRTC.
“People, when we put out that message…they began calling us and saying things like ‘Someone just ran across my yard’,” Burgess said. “It's (AlertSense) what helped us catch them the most.”
The AlertSense system is costing the county about $4,000 per year to implement. The previous used system cost about $9,000 a year and did not provide as many features as AlertSense, according to Dunker.
This is a free service and to sign up for these alerts and notifications, log onto http://www.fillmorecounty.org and look for the AlertSense box on the left hand side of the page. Once on the link, you will be asked to provide your name, an e-mail address, the phone you would like to hook up to the service, your physical address and what type of weather notifications you would like to receive. All land line phones are automatically hooked up to the system, but for cell phones, the user must go to the county's website page and sign-up for AlertSense.
“We are not CodeRed anymore,” said Dunker at a recent Fillmore County Board meeting. “With a cell phone, you need to sign up again for the AlertSense service.”
Dunker also noted that while signing up for AlertSense on the county web page, a person will need to put in an active e-mail address. The person will then receive an e-mail message and have to respond back to get AlertSense on their phone. The person will also have to reactivate AlertSense each year, as well.
People can contact Dunker at the Emergency Management office at 402-759-4932 if they have questions or need help signing up for the system. Or they can sign up at http://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/?regionid=1242