September 2, 2014

Elyria
Intermittent clouds
73°F
test

Lorain County gets new alert system

ELYRIA — Lorain County commissioners have purchased a reverse 911 system that they say will help communications during emergencies.

Commissioner Lori Kokoski said that in the case of a tornado, for instance, the system will be able to send warnings through texts and emails for people to take shelter. She said in the summer many people are inside their homes with the air conditioning running and might not hear a tornado siren.

“It seems to be the best alternative to notify people in case of an emergency,” Kokoski said.

The contract, approved Wednesday by the commissioners, will cost the county $36,350 per year and will last through mid-July 2017.

A news release from commissioners said five systems were looked at over a six-month period before the selection committee settled on the deal with Inspiron Logistics.

The reverse 911 system will be available for use by police, fire departments and municipal governments across the county, Kokoski said. Each of those entities will have to sign agreements that set out the terms under which messages can be sent to those signed up to receive alerts.

Kokoski said the rules will prohibit sending mundane messages telling people about meetings, for example. If that happens, she said, people might not pay attention to the important emergency messages because the alerts would become just another part of the spam they receive.

“We want to make sure when people get this notification they know it’s an emergency and it doesn’t get diluted,” she said.

The system will be administered by the Lorain County 911 Call Center, she said.

Kokoski said the system will be up and running soon but didn’t know an exact date.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

  • Mark B

    When 2017 arrives they will want to increase our taxes to continue the service. I already get weather warnings on my phone for FREE .

  • tickmeoff

    It’s a small amount of money, and worth every penny!

    • oldruss

      That can be said about a lot of things. A nickel here and a dime there. Hey, that levy is only $2/month more for the average homeowner.
      But, here’s the rub. Those nickels and dimes all add up. Our property tax bills continue to go up and up and up. If it’s not one thing it’s another.

    • http://politicsarepersonalblog.blogspot.com/ Suzan Smith

      “small”? Let’s add all the “smalls” & see what % that amount is of out taxes. I agree with Mark B – you can see the train a comin!!

    • Oneday67

      How about this. They offer the services and YOU pay for it if you want it. I don’t want it.

      • golfingirl

        How dare you suggest someone should have to pay for something.

        What are you, a Republican?

        Where is your compassion?

    • golfingirl

      It is already available for FREE…..as in NO COST!

      So why would the commissioners spend money on something that is already free?

      Maybe they will be sending Re-Elect Kokoski messages on election day and then just say it was done in error.

  • oldruss

    If I understood the article correctly, this new system will send text messages and/or emails to those who sign up. That’s all well and good, but I’m an old fart, and I don’t text, don’t even think my phone has the capability to do it. And, I’m not on my computer 24/7, so if there’s a tornado at, say, 2:00 a.m., how does sending me an email to my computer do me any good whatsoever?

    • Bruce Tennant

      at least your computer will know to take cover…. :)

    • tickmeoff

      You’re a smart guy, You will figure it out, and i am not being facetious, Somebody in the family, perhaps younger relative can show you how to text, Don’t worry about looking bad, once you do it a couple times, it will be like dialing a phone number.

      • oldruss

        Your presumptiveness is staggering.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Lorain County gets, but it’s not available and don’t know when will be. Nice

  • Phil Blank

    These people just wasted close to $37,000.00 a year for something that is already free. Because that don’t have a clue how to do their job!

    CDC: 41 percent of US households now mobile-only
    By: Aditi Pai | Jul 10, 2014 
    http://mobihealthnews.com/34767/cdc-41-percent-of-us-households-now-mobile-only/

    Already avaliable free
    Wireless Emergency Alerts
    http://www.ctia.org/your-wireless-life/consumer-tips/wireless-emergency-alerts

    PLUS this stuff is already free!
    Read the whole page here:
    http://www.weather.gov/subscribe

  • Mark B

    Elyria uses a system called Nixle and it is FREE to Public Safety Agencies.
    http://www.nixle.com/

  • Phil Blank

    This was posted two years ago:
    Mobile weather warnings on the way!
    http://www.noaa.gov/features/03_protecting/wireless_emergency_alerts.html

  • Linda Meadows

    Hmmm…the National Weather Service provides these texts or FREE….and we spent HOW MUCH? And then they will cry poor mouth and raise taxes!