Center urges emergency alert sign-up

You want to know about it when things turn bad, right?

To keep you in the loop, emergency officials need to know how to contact you and which types of emergencies you want to know about.

Grand Junction’s Regional Communication Center has launched new tools to keep the public notified in emergency situations. However, the system only works if you log on to receive alerts. Personal information will not be shared.

“What’s new about this system is you can sign up for weather alerts,” said Kate Porras, spokeswoman for the Grand Junction Police Department. “We can send them to your mobile device, phone or email.”

As telephone land lines are becoming more rare, emergency officials need better ways to get information out in a hurry about emergencies.

In the case of the Pine Ridge fire in the De Beque area in the summer 2012, as people were being evacuated from homes, voice messages sent by land line wouldn’t have done much good, Porras said.

The new emergency notification system also is intended to identify people who can volunteer in an emergency. In the Pine Ridge fire, some Mesa County residents volunteered to transport livestock away from danger. With the new system, residents with those capabilities, or residents who can help in other ways, can sign up before disaster strikes.

“You can let us know ahead of time,” Porras said.

Residents who already have set up accounts to receive emergency notifications can log in to update to the new settings. There also is an application that works on mobile devices. Anyone with problems signing up on the website can call the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center at 244-3730.

To sign up for alerts, visit Grand Junction’s website at gjcity.org and click on the Alerts tab.

Folks can designate locations around the Grand Valley where they are interested in hearing about emergencies. That might include in the area around a parent’s home, near your child’s day care facility, your home and local schools.

About 7,000 residents have signed up for the service,  a fraction of the more than 120,000 people who live in the Grand Valley.


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