Jefferson, Saline and Gage Counties now have a way to receive important alerts in emergency situations through a new program that launched on Tuesday. Now, citizens are being asked to sign up to receive these alerts.
Emergency Manager for Jefferson and Saline Counties John McKee explained that they have been working hard to get this system up and running. He encourages everyone to sign up for this program through Alertsense. He explained that this system is not only for people in Jefferson County, but for those in Saline and Gage Counties as well.
“The three counties are working right now to get the landline numbers in the system,” said McKee. “We are starting the public opt-in process right now. We've had quite a few people sign up, but we want more. It's a great way to get important information out. People need to sign up with their cell phones. That's the only way the system is going to work.”
People are being asked to sign up for this notification system by visiting the Alertsense Website. The sign up generally takes less than five minutes. McKee emphasized that the information entered on the website will only be viewed by officials who initiate alerts.
He explained that there are several situations when alerts would be issued, such as emergencies with local law enforcement, snow emergencies and even, eventually, notifications of possible power outages. McKee explained that other notifications, like the boil water notice issued in Jansen in 2016, or the woman who went missing in December, would be issued through this system as well.
“If you don't sign up, you won't get the alert,” McKee said. “It can be alerts from snow emergencies to law enforcement issues, hazmat situations. We're also working on floodplains so that we can get an alert out to people who live in those areas when a flood is possible. I'm thinking of what happened in DeWitt, and how we can give them a heads up better than what they had before. The same goes for Fairbury.”
McKee emphasized just how important it is for people to sign up to receive these alerts, because it has the opportunity to save lives. If people have questions about the system or how to sign up, they are encouraged to contact McKee at 402-729-3602.
“This system allows the counties to send out emergency alerts and important community notifications that affect you,” said McKee. “The public is always wanting to know what's going on, so if something is happening in your area, where you're affected by an event or an incident, it will help bring you that information. Even if people see alerts come out on social media, they need to sign up for this because it will email you, it can text you or call you and give you the information you need to know to stay safe.”