There are examples from across the nation: The Boston Marathon Bombings
Disasters and emergencies can happen anywhere, and although we are fortunate that we have not seen the devastating fires and flooding that our Front Range neighbors have, it doesn’t mean we in Mesa County are immune from major destructive incidents. What if we had a long term power outage during the winter? What if officers were tracking down a suspect at large in your neighborhood? What if a child was missing? The “what if” list goes on and on.
During these incidents, a crucial tool in keeping people safe is the ability to instantly provide the public with critical information. It might be a message telling you to get out of your house now, or to lock the doors and shelter-in-place. Maybe we need to inform those affected by a disaster where to go for shelter, or when they are allowed to return home after an evacuation.
The problem is, emergency responders can’t effectively and efficiently provide you with this critical information unless you take a couple minutes to sign up to receive alerts from our Emergency Notification System.
This system allows the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center (911 dispatchers for all of Mesa County) to send critical alerts to the devices you register, such as your mobile phone or tablet, or perhaps your email. You can receive the messages as text, voicemail, and/or email, and you have complete power over which of your devices gets the messages and in what format. What’s more, you can link your contact information to multiple addresses in Mesa County. That way if there’s an incident near your child’s school, for example, you can know about it while you are at work. Or perhaps you have an elderly parent who lives alone. You can receive alerts involving that address as well. You are able to use this system in a way that best works for you and the people you care about.
As of the end of October 2013, the Emergency Notification System only had about 7,000 people who had signed up. In a county of more than 140,000 people, that’s a very low number. Help us help you be prepared, because emergencies can happen here.