Garden City gets emergency alert system


GARDEN CITY, Kansas– Finney County has more than 20 storm sirens in the area, but now a new notification system will also call, text, and email residents when bad weather is coming.

“It’s going to hit you in the middle of the night.  Your phone’s going to ring and you’ll wake up,” said Finney County Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Paz-Torres.  “Where as a Facebook post might not wake you up.”

CJ Altman lives close to a storm siren, but he likes the idea of a more reliable alert. “The more people that know about it, generally, the safer everyone’s going to be,” he said.

While the new system will automatically send out storm warnings, the county can also use it to contact groups of people within the community. The system could be used to notify people about anything from a closed street to a missing person. It’s anything that could better educate the public, and in turn, keep them safe.

Paz-Torres said they researched several systems, and this one won’t cost tax-payers anything. “We’re going to partner with other agencies to cover the cost of the system,” he said.

Anyone in Finney County can use it for free, all you have to do is provide a phone number, email, and home address.

Altman plans to sign up. “Anyway you can get the word out, and if it’s cheap, it’s going to be better,” he said.

Paz-Torres said they expect the system to be up and running by mid-August.

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