The Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), in its effort to help people get better and quicker information about severe weather and other situations, is rolling out a new and free mass notification system called MBCAlert.
“With MBCAlert, we will be able to quickly notify people by phone, text message, and email about potentially dangerous situations in their area, as well as any recovery information following the situation,” says EMA Director Spencer Hawkins. “This gives us an additional layer of communication – in addition to our local media, website, HAM radio system, and social media – to help us reach more people.”
To register for the notification system, go to www.maconbibb.us/mbcalert and follow the registration steps.
People need to opt in to the system in order to get the notifications, and they are able to register up to four phone numbers, two email addresses, and five physical addresses. Additionally, people can download a free application for their phone or tablet that will send them the messages with a push alert. The application is called ContactBridge, and it is free in the App Store and Google Play. When a notification about a potential emergency or disaster situation is issued, a registered participant will receive a message on all their preferred communication methods.
If a person chooses not to register for the automatic notification system, that same information will continue to be posted to the EMA’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and they will continue to use the outdoor emergency sirens.
“With the speed that severe weather or other dangerous situations can arise, we needed a system that we knew could reach people almost immediately, and we knew people aren’t always sitting by the television or computer,” adds Hawkins. “By getting them to register their numbers and email addresses, we have a better chance of making sure people are aware of what’s happening around them.”
The system will be tested each month in conjunction with the emergency sirens. Those tests happen on the last Wednesday every month at 11:00 a.m., as long as the weather is clear.