Alert system aims to help during severe weather

GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Last year, Finney County officials implemented Civic Ready, a mass notification system designed to alert locals about any type of emergency or alert.

“It’s just a way to notify people right away with one message, this is what’s going on,” said Finney County Emergency Management Director Gilbert Valerio.

The system is free to the 40,000 residents of Finney County but participation has been low.

“Sometimes it takes emergencies to get people’s attention,” said Rodney Dozier, GCCC Campus Police Chief.

Being severe weather season, officials hope they can encourage more people to sign up before something bad happens.  Not just for their safety, but also for the safety of the entire community.

“It allows our police officers, our deputies, our campus police officers to actually take care of the emergency situation,” Dozier said.

Valerio said he’s already seen threats to safety spark a reaction.

“We were kind of stuck around 230 people.  After last week’s anticipation of severe weather it jumped up to 540,” he said.

Whether it’s Civic ready, a weather radio, or the National Weather Service, it all comes down to preparing yourself ahead of time and being aware.

“It’s something at this time of the year, we should all wake up and check the weather, look at the potential for severe weather and plan our day with that in the back of our mind,” Dozier said.

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