On Wednesday, March 31, the Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) will test its expanded alert system in conjunction with its normally scheduled monthly emergency notification test. On the last Wednesday of every month, the EMA tests its emergency notification system which includes MBCAlert, outdoor sirens and social media. Beginning this month, the MBCAlert notifications will increase from 7,276 phone numbers to 103,424.

“We are continually working to expand our ability to reach more people with our MBCAlert system. This system provides detailed emergency information to people through the most ubiquitous communications tool…their cell phones,” says EMA Director Spencer Hawkins. “With this new addition to our system, we’ll be able to reach more than 100,000 people in our county and help keep them safe during severe weather and other disasters.”

On Wednesday, March 31 the EMA will start the emergency notification test at 11:00 a.m. which will include the outdoor sirens, MBCAlert and the expanded phone number database. During the phone call, people will be able to opt out of receiving the notifications by following the directions and calling 478-832-6300 or emailing EMA@maconbibb.us

The EMA was able to work with its emergency notification system provider who have partnerships with cell phone and landline providers and access to the phone numbers. Since Macon-Bibb County and the EMA is a government agency and provides public safety, the law provides it access to those numbers to better protect people during emergency situations.

“While we provide the opt-out option, it’s our hope people remain part of the system so we can provide them timely and critical information,” says Hawkins. “This will only be for phone calls, but we do still provide email and text notifications. To sign up for those, people should go to www.maconbibb.us/mbcalert.”