County-wide emergency notification system slated to be in operation soon
Telephone-based mass notifications systems are used by thousands of public safety agencies across the United States to warn citizens about local emergencies, hazards and other threats.
Union County officials announced on March 14 that they have selected Hyper-Reach to help bring this same life-saving capability to the area.
Hyper-Reach is a state-of-the-art mass emergency notification system which is designed specifically for public safety.
The county expects to have the service fully operational by the end of March.
The new emergency alert system will provide rapid notification of hazardous and urgent situations using a mix of telephone calls, text and email messages, and even TTY/TDD service for the hearing impaired.
The system sends thousands of these messages to geographically targeted households in seconds, and can simultaneously deliver them to an even broader audience by way of social media.
The system also can send broadcast messages to most current mobile telephones (those made since 2011) in an affected area by providing access to FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alert, WEA, system.
“Our job is to protect the citizens of Union County as effectively and cost-effectively as possible,” Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel said in a news release which announced plans to implement the program.
“We reviewed all the major vendors for emergency notification service, and Hyper-Reach gave us everything we needed at an unbelievable price. We’re really excited about this new capability.”
The county plans to use the service primarily for alerts about weather and environmental hazards, criminal activity and missing persons.
Residents and people who work in Union County are being encouraged to enroll now, either by calling or texting “Alert” to 618-661-0591 or by going to the website at https://hyperreach.com/ilunionsignup.html.
Citizens also can download the Hyper-Reach app anywhere on their smartphone.
Hyper-Reach is a free smartphone app that allows individual citizens to manage and monitor the alerts they receive, both for their home and office addresses and for other adresses they care about, such as those of elderly relatives or friends.
“We’re honored to have been selected by Union County to provide its emergency alerts,” Hyper-Reach president Sam Asher said. “It’s gratifying to be part of an effort to save lives and protect property and we take that responsibility very seriously.”