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Local News

Escambia County Adds Emergency Notification System

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Escambia County is partnering with a number of local firms in launching a new notification system, aimed at alerting residents to developing emergencies.

“Basically, it’s an automated notification system, that can communicate with citizens on many different levels,” said John Dosh, Escambia County’s Emergency Management Chief. “Whether it be cellphone, home phone, work phone. It can email, it can text. It’s a subscription to provide this service.”

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Alert Escambia, as the system is called, offers residents to chance to sign up for the emergency messages, and customize just which device will receive it. It’s free to the public, but not to the county. It costs about $70,000 per year, but Dosh says it’s being paid through their partnership with six firms and organizations:

  • Escambia County
  • Gulf Power Company
  • Emerald Coast Utilities Authority
  • Florida Department of Health
  • International Paper
  • Ascend Performance Materials.

All have been engaged in the project, since work began about 18 months ago. The system also enables the organizations to get critical emergency response information to their employees in a quick manner. Speed, says Dosh, is the system’s greatest feature.
“It has a lot of available resources to it,” Dosh says. “It can make phone calls much faster than what our old system could. It has thousands of phone access points that allow it to do a mass notification very quickly.”

Alert Escambia will send alerts on situations ranging from chemical emergencies, hurricane evacuations, and wildfires, and any other time the public needs to be aware and take action. It’s not replacing any existing emergency notification methods

To subscribe, simply go online to www.myescambia.com/beready. And there’s no contract; subscribers can drop the service at any time.