Helena using new emergency alert system

HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Helena is now using an alert system to provide emergency information to all of its residents.

Over the last couple of months, with a leaking train car causing a HazMat scare, to flooding in Buck Creek, there have already been occasions where it could have been useful.

“In an event like with severe weather, as soon as we see Helena’s in the path of a severe storm or Helena’s in the path of a tornado, something like that, we’re going to immediately start disseminating that information,” said Emergency Coordinator Lt. Brad Flynn.

Weather information will be provided, but the new service isn’t a replacement for weather radios.

The primary use will be for the aftermath of a storm, and it’s something many of Helena’s 18,000 residents are ready to use.

“Getting the word out there, just letting people know what to do and what the situation is will really help them adjust and know how to react to a situation,” said Helena resident Sam Methvin.

Flynn says the new system isn’t just a police and fire thing.

“The outreach messages are ones that will technically be the ones that are non-emergency,
said Flynn. “We’ll still send those, like if we have larger scale water outrage or something like that,”

It’s only been up and running about a week and a 7,000 have already signed up.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42


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